Ireland’s first openly gay Minister

January 19, 2015 02:35 am | Updated 02:57 am IST - DUBLIN:

Health Minister Leo Varadkar

Health Minister Leo Varadkar

One of Ireland’s most prominent politicians became the first Minister to announce he is gay, four months before a referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage in the traditionally conservative Catholic country.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar (36), widely seen as one of the strongest contenders to succeed Prime Minister Enda Kenny as leader of the ruling Fine Gael party, made the announcement in an interview with state broadcaster RTE on Sunday.

The Roman Catholic Church dominated Irish politics until the 1980s and the country only legalised homosexual acts in 1993.

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