Leo Leads Again As Martin Completes Handover

Leo Varadkar - Smiling
Would you like to listen to the article instead of reading it?

87 TDs have voted in favour of Leo Varadkar becoming the new Taoiseach after a government coalition deal from two years ago was realised.

The scheduled changeover started with Micheál Martin‘s resignation this morning, as the government begins the next phase of its tenure.

The Fine Gael leader is to take on the role for the second time in his political career. In the Dáil chamber today, 62 TD’s voted against while one abstained.

A historic ‘rotating Taoiseach‘ agreement means that Micheál Martin taking on the role of Tánaiste for the remainder of the coalition’s term, while Varadkar will lead the government.

Independent TD Michael Lowry reluctantly nominated the Tánaiste, saying that the government is “not spectacular, but moderately sufficient“.

Mr Varadkar’s term as number Tanaiste was dominated by issues such as housing, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Taoiseach-elect will announce his new Cabinet, which will meet properly for the first time at Áras an Uachtaráin tonight.

Few changes are expected in the Cabinet reshuffle, with all eyes on which department Micheál Martin will get.

It’s expected he’ll become the Foreign Affairs Minister, with Simon Coveney to move to Enterprise.

Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath are expected to swap the Finance and Public Expenditure briefs.

The Cabinet reshuffle will not bring the change the country needs, Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly said.

The coalition’s policies so far have led to a cost of living crisis, longer waiting lists for healthcare and over 11,000 people homeless, “3,800 of whom are children“, she said.

It’s not so much that they didn’t deal with [these issues], it’s the fact that they got progressively worse on their watch.”

“Shifting around the chairs, changing personalities, that is not going to deliver for people.”