D15 locals hail Leo the leader

by Mark O'Brien

There has been a mainly positive reaction to the news that Dublin West TD Leo Varadkar is set to become Ireland’s next Taoiseach.
Mr Varadkar overcame Simon Coveney in the Fine Gael leadership race last Friday. He is set to become Ireland’s first openly gay leader of the country, as well as the youngest Taoiseach in the country’s history.
Mr Varadkar’s constituency colleagues Joan Burton and Jack Chambers tweeted their congratulations to him, as did a number of local councillors, including Roderic O’Gorman and Ted Leddy.
Cllr William Lavelle said: “I think Leo will make a great leader and a great Taoiseach.”
However, others were more cautious in their response to the news.
The chairperson of Dublin City Council’s housing committee, Cllr Daithi Doolin, said that he believes Mr Varadkar must make ending homelessness a priority.
“Leo Varadkar ’s leadership will be judged, not by rhetoric or headlines, but on how he works with Dublin City Council to make homelessness history,” he said.
Renua leader John Leahy said that if Mr Varadkar is to succeed as Taoiseach he must “stick to his promise to represent those who get up early each morning to get to work”.
Mr Leahy added: ‘‘Leo Varadkar is a Taoiseach who has the greatest potential to transform Ireland since Lemass.
“He is a young leader who can finally represent a generation who have had the opportunity to transform and build their lives squandered by a government of old men with old ideas.
“The only thing that can stymie this proper objective will be if he does not take his courage in his hands and take the radical path of reform.”
On the streets of Dublin 15, reaction to the news was generally positive.
Speaking to Newstalk, owner of Spar Carpenterstown Mark Jones said: “It would be absolutely fantastic for the country and for the area.

“He’s a local guy in the Castleknock area and he also shops with me so I would be very, very happy.”
Another resident added: “I think he’s a good man. I think he’s the man for he job.”
While reaction was generally positive, one resident did say: “Not happy at all about it because none of them (politicians) are trustworthy.”

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