Thursday, May 30, 2024

Simon Harris Becomes Ireland’s Youngest-Ever Prime Minister At 37

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Simon Harris is known as “TikTok taoiseach” because of his social media presence.

Simon Harris has become Ireland’s youngest-ever prime minister at the age of 37. On Tuesday, he was officially installed as taoiseach (Irish prime minister) by members of the Dail (Irish parliament). He replaced Leo Varadkar, who suddenly announced he was stepping down last month. According to BBC, Mr Harris’ nomination was confirmed by a decisive 88-69 vote, with support stemming from independent lawmakers, as well as coalition partners Fianna Fail and the Green Party.

Speaking at the Irish parliament, Mr Harris described the new election as a “very special day”. “I accept this new role in a spirit of humility, ready for the challenge and full of energy and determination about what can be achieved,” he said, as per the BBC. He added that Ireland must never take peace for granted and he pledged to guard and honour his role “as protector and guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement”.

Mr Harris is now the head of the centre-right party called Fine Gael, which is in coalition with Fianna Fail and the Green Party. Speaking at the Dail, the 37-year-old vowed to lead the coalition government in a spirit of “unity, collaboration and mutual respect”. He also said that he wanted the government to run for a full term. 

Notably, a general election in Ireland is scheduled to take place in March 2025. However, as it is the third time the coalition government has changed its taoiseach in less than four years, opposition parties have called for an early election.

Who is Simon Harris? 

Simon Harris is known as “TikTok taoiseach” because of his social media presence. He was born in 1986 and grew up in the coastal town of Greystones in County Wicklow. According to the BBC, he is the eldest of three children, the son of a taxi driver and a special needs assistant. He dropped out of a college course in journalism and French in Dublin after one year to concentrate on an already promising political career.

Mr Harris entered politics at a very young age. He joined Fine Gael’s youth wing at the age of 16 and quickly rose through the party’s ranks. He was a county councillor at the age of 22 and was elected to parliament at 24. Mr Harris was also the former Health and Higher Education Minister for Ireland and helped with the country’s response at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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