TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has been included on Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Varadkar, who become the youngest ever Taoiseach when he replaced Enda Kenny in 2017, is included in the ‘Leaders’ section.
He is joined in the category by US President Donald Trump, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Tredeau, and Meghan Markle.
Penning the Taoiseach’s profile for the list, Sunday Independent political correspondent Philip Ryan said Varadkar was the face of a new Ireland, much changed from a conservative country where the Catholic Church held sway.
“When Ireland finally decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, the Catholic Church still had a firm grip on the state’s affairs,” wrote Ryan.
“Divorce was illegal, and its abortion laws were deeply entrenched as some of the most conservative in the West.
"Twenty-five years on, Ireland is a very different place – symbolized by the rise of its new leader, Leo Varadkar.
"The openly gay son of an Indian immigrant, Varadkar decided to come out publicly in the run-up to the world’s first marriage-equality referendum.
"Today the once anti-abortion politician is campaigning to significantly liberalize the country’s abortion laws.”
Ryan added, however, that Varadkar will ultimately be judged on how he handles the Brexit negotiations in Europe and a housing and homelessness crisis on the domestic front.
Time says the list is less a measure of power, and more a designation of individuals whose time is now.
Also on this year’s list is Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, who is included in the 'Pioneers’ category.
Pope Francis, who has been included every year since he was elected in 2013, is a notable omission this time around.