Minister and Donegal TD Joe McHugh has announced he is backing Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar to be the next Taoiseach.
Minister McHugh said he believed Minister Varadkar would be an outstanding leader of the country who understood issues affecting people right across the State and in particular Inishowen, having worked as a junior doctor in Carndonagh.
“Leo was in Donegal for two days last week but he is no stranger to Donegal,” said McHugh, who is Minister for the Diaspora and International Development.
“He has visited the county on many occasions both in a private capacity and as a minister.
He retained Malin Head Coastguard Station at a time when there was pressure to close it and he began the process of better cross-Border cooperation on health care as emphasised just a few days ago with the Cancer Care Centre at Altnagelvin.
“Leo also worked for a time in Carndonagh as a junior doctor when he was training in the medical profession. He understands, as he said last week, the unique circumstances of Donegal, cut off from the rest of the North for most of the last century by partition, and cut off geographically and in other ways from the rest of the State.
“I believe Leo Varadkar will make an excellent Taoiseach for all the people of the Republic of Ireland and for all the people of Donegal. I have never found him wanting when it came to dealing with issues head-on.
“I also believe Minister Varadkar will help stabilise our country, deal with the challenges of Brexit and help Donegal and the border counties in the months and years ahead. He is a keen supporter of Irish language and culture and his continuing support for our native language is immense. I hope now Leo goes on to win this Fine Gael contest.”
Minister McHugh Minister McHugh also paid tribute to the Taoiseach’s service to his country and party.
“Enda never forgot his Donegal roots,” said Minister McHugh.
“I would like to pay tribute to the Taoiseach for his dedication and service to his country and party over many, many years.
“As everyone knows, Enda’s mother was from Donegal and he never forgot his Donegal connections.
“I hope he has a long and happy retirement after what he has done for the country over the last number of years. No one deserves it more.
“I think history will judge him kindly as he led our country out of a very dark period to a position today where the economic revival is slowly spreading to the regions.”