Tuesday 18 June 2019

'Fair play Leo' – Minister Varadkar widely praised for public announcement over sexuality

Declan Whooley

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has received widespread support following his announcement on RTE Radio this morning that he is gay.

The 36 year-old said that that he wanted to be honest in his situation as a public leader, but said that it did not define him.

"I am a gay man," he told Miriam O'Callaghan. "It's not a secret. I hope it's not a big deal for anyone else - it shouldn't be," he added.

The reaction to the news has been hugely supportive over the Minister's decision, with leading public figures taking to social media to voice their opinion.

"Fair play Leo Varadkar, although the nicest thing is, it hardly seems to be causing any storm," comedian Dara O'Briain tweeted soon after the interview.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald wished Varadkar a happy birthday and congratulated her fellow TD on the interview, while Jerry Buttimer hoped that like Varadkar said himself, such interviews will not be necessary in time.

Varadkar has become the first openly gay Irish government minister, though Cork TD Buttimer revealed his sexuality three years ago.

"It will hopefully only be a footnote in time," he said.

Conor Cusack, Niall Breslin were among those to offer their support while the public reaction has been hugely supportive.

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