Leo Varadkar, the newly appointed Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland, reminds us of another Prime Minster of the Irish Republic, whom also had an Irish mother and a foreign-born father. Born in the United States, this other Prime Minister had to unite a rebellious British territory, that was at war with itself, regardless of who was secular and non-secular, foreign or native, Protestant or Catholic. This man guided a young nation through these tribulations, World War II neutrality, and served his country for over 50 years. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother, this man was known as Eamon de Valera.
A few days ago, the Irish Dail Eireann (lower house of Parliament) elected a new Prime Minister, who also has an Irish mother and foreign born father. Mr Varadkar inherits new and different trials and tribulations as incoming Prime Minister. His political platform calls for the rejection of nationalistic ideas and a more global free trade with border-less barriers to obtain this free trade. Brexit and keeping his country’s relationship with Northern Ireland, which is still part of the UK, are also high on his agenda. Let us hope that are this new PM can parallel the accomplishments of founding father de Valera. Likely, it might not and possible.
Mr Varadkar’s rhetoric suggests he simply wishes to continue the status quo started by de Valera, who brought the offshore cottage industry in the 1957, and the previous, abeit more scandalous, Taoiseach Charles Haughey, who capitalized on de Valera’s cozy cottage industry by putting 10 percent tax rates on major companies “hosted” in Ireland during his time in power in the 1980s.  One person in America who also fuels this scandalous elite society and whom I have to see Varadkar challenge is Eolas founder Michael David Doyle. A clever shyster, Doyle bases Eolas on Irish pride, the name even being Gaelic for both “knowledge” and “information,” and continues to a green lowercase letter akin to the app key. He originally used UC Berkeley’s Internet pioneering to pat his ego and wallet and developed himself over time into making a living as a patent troll. Can Mr Varadkar steer the Irish economy away from people such as Doyle while negotiating the tricky Brexit agreement with the U.K.? Recent talks with Theresa May, British PM, sounded successful, but complicated. Keeping a border-less face while the UK transitions out of the European Union (EU) is very necessary while navigating through the influence and power American companies have, and what will happen to these companies when the full process of Brexit is complete. Although Modern Ireland is around 100 years old, the nation has yet to prove to be as modern as many other European nations, even allowing same sex restricting while also restricting abortion cases to the preservation of maternal life. Mr. Varadkar’s table is set for a very challenging time.