Micheál Martin elected Irish Taoiseach by Dáil Éireann

Micheál Martin elected Irish Taoiseach by Dáil Éireann

MICHAEL MARTIN has been elected the new Taoiseach at a special meeting of the Dáil Éireann in Dublin. 

The 59-year-old Cork native will lead a three-part coalition consisting of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party. 

It follows a meeting of the 33rd Dáil Éireann who gathered in The Convention Centre Dublin on Saturday in order to facilitate a physically distanced vote to confirm Ireland's next head of government. 

Mr. Martin, who has led Fianna Fáil since 2011, will head up the government until December 2021, at which point he will hand the role of Taoiseach back to Leo Varadkar, the Fine Gail leader. 

Held in the Convention Centre rather than Leinster House to ensure social distancing rules were maintained, the resulting vote saw a majority of 93 members of the Dáil vote in favour of Mr. Martin. 

63 members voted against him. 

The vote represents the culmination of weeks of negotiations between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party following a general election in which no party came close to winning a majority. 

Mr. Varadkar has been serving as caretaker Taoiseach since February, with talks over the formation of a coalition government halted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite failing to win a majority, Fianna Fáil won the most seats at February’s election. 

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JUNE 27: Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin waves to the gathered media after being elected Taoiseach at the Convention Centre on June 27, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Under the new government, Civil War rivals Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in what represents a historic and unprecedented move for Irish politics. 

Mr Martin described being elected to serve as taoiseach as "one of the greatest honours which anyone can receive" in his acceptance speech. 

He was later presented with his seal of office by Irish President Michael D Higgins at the president's official residence, Áras an Uachtaráin. 

Reacting to the news, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "Congratulations to Ireland on forming a new Government and to Micheal Martin TD on becoming Taoiseach. Ireland is our closest neighbour, good friend and ally on issues such as climate change, the global fight against Covid-19 and our shared values on human rights and democracy." 

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also tweeted her congratulations, saying she looked forward to engaging with Mr Martin soon to "further strengthen the relationship between Scotland and Ireland".