Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Nomination of Taoiseach
Go n-ainmneoidh Dáil Éireann an Teachta Leo Varadkar le bheith ceaptha ag an Uachtarán mar Thaoiseach.
That Dáil Éireann nominate Deputy Leo Varadkar for appointment by the President to be Taoiseach.
Having worked closely with Deputy Varadkar throughout his political career I am confident that he will carry out the role of An Taoiseach with energy, integrity and skill. From his deep involvement in the Young Fine Gael movement as a young student to his election to Fingal County Council in 2004 and his election to this House, Dáil Éireann, in 2007, Deputy Varadkar has demonstrated the drive and the commitment that are required to succeed in politics.
Immediately upon his election to this House I appointed him to the Fine Gael Front Bench, first in the enterprise brief and later as spokesman on energy and communications. In both roles he worked diligently in developing new and innovative policy proposals. Since then I had the privilege of being first elected Taoiseach in 2011 and have had the privilege of appointing Deputy Varadkar to three separate Cabinet positions, as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Minister for Health and more recently as Minister for Social Protection. In each of these Ministries Deputy Varadkar has had significant achievements, whether the revitalisation of the tourism industry, the oversight of The Gathering, stabilising the health service and rolling out free general practitioner, GP, care for children younger than six years or increasing the weekly payments to those dependent on social welfare.
In 2011 the Irish people elected a new Government to rescue the economy, to get Ireland working again and Deputy Varadkar in his Ministries was central to that work. Today our country is in a much stronger position than previously, the troika has left, unemployment has fallen dramatically and the public finances are in very good shape. However, many challenges remain, not least in areas such as health and housing and child poverty. We must continue to manage the economy carefully so that it generates the resources that we need to rebuild our essential public services.
As Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar will meet these challenges head on, including Brexit and Ireland's future place in the European Union. As the country's youngest holder of this office he will speak for a new generation of Irishwomen and Irishmen. He represents a modern, diverse and inclusive Ireland and will speak for it like no other, an Ireland in which each person can fulfil his or her potential and live his or her dreams.
I wish Deputy Varadkar and his team every success in the challenges that lie ahead. I have no doubt but that he will build on the solid foundations on which our country now stands and that he will see that it is managed carefully in the people's interests and that the decisions his Government will make will always hold the people as central to those decisions. I therefore commend his name to the House for selection as Taoiseach of Ireland.