Vast majority of ordinary members opt for rival.
Sligo News File.
Fine Gaelers have elected the homosexual son of an Indian immigrant as their party leader.
Leo Varadkar was pulled through by votes of party councillors and members of the Oireachtas.
However, the vast majority of the grass root members declared their support for his rival.
Simon Coveney, who fared poorly at the hands of the elected representatives, secured the backing of 65% of the party’s ordinary members.
The event is really only interesting for the fact that the next Taoiseach will be recognised as one of the few homosexuals to head up a government anywhere in the world
On the face of it, the indications are that homosexuality is now widely accepted in Ireland. First, there were the homosexual ‘marriage’ rights, then the right of homosexuals to adopt children and now this.
The world’s media is baffled as to how in a few years a Catholic country has yielded so much to pressures of middle-class entities demanding equal rights for homosexuals.
Varadkar, regarded as a right-wing conservative, was slammed when last month he launched a €200,845 campaign to encourage the reporting of social welfare fraud.
Sinn Fein TD Denise Mitchell reportedly took him to task saying: “It is extraordinary that the Social Protection Minister could take to the national airwaves and start waffling about people wearing false beards and make-up to fraudulently claim welfare payments when the department has no records to back up these assertions.”
Replies to parliamentary questions revealed just one suspected case of identity fraud had been identified in 2017.
Mitchell went on to say that “Leo Varadkar attempted to whip up a frenzy, claiming that people in disguises were defrauding the State. But the figures revealed today show that more focus should be spent on tackling overpayments in the system, which is where the real loss to the taxpayer occurs.”
Proposed legislation prepared by Varadkar is said to contain provisions to publish the names and addresses of people who have been convicted of welfare fraud, and the penalties they incurred.
Local backers of Dublin-based Varadkar include Michael Ring (Mayo) and Tony McLoughlin (Sligo-Leitrim)
Fianna Fáil, the party holding the government together, has come out strongly against a proposal of Varadkar’s to ban workers in vital sectors from striking.
Dara Calleary said his party would not support it.
Fianna Fail has also stated they are ready for a snap election at any time. Selection of candidates could be carried out in a matter of days, they noted.