Saturday 15 December 2018

Varadkar joins Trump and Meghan Markle on Time 100 list of the world's most influential people of 2018

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Kevin Doyle, Group Political Editor

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar is listed alongside Donald Trump, Kim Jung Un, Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey in TIME magazine’s most influential people for 2018.

The Taoiseach made the top 100 which includes major world figures from politics, sports, film and social society.

The magazine says its list is not merely a measure of power but is “a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now”.

“As our staff considers candidates, we often find ourselves wowed by those with stunning lifetime achievements. But editorial director Dan Macsai, maestro of the TIME 100, brings us back to the key question: Was this their year?” the magazine says.

‘Sunday Independent’ political correspondent Philip Ryan wrote the short extract which will explain to TIME’s readers why Mr Varadkar has made the cut.

It notes that Ireland only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 but 25 years later the country “is a very different place – symbolised by the rise of its new leader”.

“The openly gay son of an Indian immigrant, Varadkar decided to come out publicly in the run-up to the world’s first marriage-equality referendum.

“Today the once anti-abortion politician is campaigning to significantly liberalize the country’s abortion laws,” the citation says.

“Varadkar is now at the centre of EU negotiations on Brexit, which could have a devastating impact on Ireland’s peace and prosperity.

“He also faces a major housing and homelessness crisis. The country’s youngest-ever Taoiseach will be judged on how he guides his nation through these challenges.”

Others on the list include Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Rihanna and Prince Harry.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman makes the cut as does Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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