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Sunday 18 November 2018

Leo named in world's 100 most influential people

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is listed alongside Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey in Time magazine's most influential people for 2018.

The Taoiseach made the top 100 list of major world figures.

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

The magazine adds: "As our staff considers candidates, we often find ourselves wowed by those with stunning lifetime achievements. But editorial director Dan Macsai brings us back to the key question: Was this their year?"

Political journalist 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".

Liberalise

"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," the citation says.

"Today, the once anti-abortion politician is campaigning to significantly liberalise the country's abortion laws.

"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.

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