Leo Varadkar announces resignation as Taoiseach and head of Fine Gael

Ireland’s first openly gay head of government, Leo Varadkar, has announced that he has tendered his resignation as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael.

Photo of Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Image: @leovaradkar on Instagram, Ireland’s first openly gay head of state Leo Varadkar announces that he tendered his resignation as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael.

Leo Varadkar has announced that he has tendered his resignation from his role as Taoiseach and as the head of the political party Fine Gael in a shock announcement made at a press conference this morning. 

The announcement comes just weeks after Varadkar’s government failed to pass twin referendums earlier this month. With the EU just months away from European elections, Varadkar’s exit is being called a “political earthquake”. 

Announcing his resignation, Varadkar, backed by members of his cabinet, said that he was “proud that we’ve made the country a more equal and modern place”. 

He went on to acknowledge that there had certainly been shortcomings of his tenure as Taoiseach but said that he would leave them for others to point out. 

“Leadership is knowing when the time has come to pass on the baton to somebody else, and then having the courage to do it,” Varadkar continued, announcing his resignation, though failing to provide specific reasons for the sudden departure. “That time is now.”

While Leo Varadkar announced that he had tendered his resignation as both Taoiseach and the leader of Fine Gael, the politician shared that he would continue to represent his Dublin West constituency in parliament. 

“I know that others will, how shall I put it, cope with the news just fine. That is the great thing about living in a democracy.

“There is never a right time to resign high office, however, this is as good a time as any,” Varadkar concluded. 

Today’s announcement marks the end of Varadkar’s second tenure as Taoiseach, which began in 2022. Throughout his time in office, he has overseen Ireland’s response to crises like Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and last November’s far-right riots in Dublin. He also made history as the country’s first openly gay head of government. 

Concluding his resignation, he said, “Politicians are human beings, and we have our limitations. We give it everything until we can’t carry any more, and then we have to move on.”

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