Micheál Martin resigns as Taoiseach in a planned handover of power

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Micheál Martin has formally resigned as Ireland’s premier, paving the way for Leo Varadkar to succeed him in a planned handover of power.

Mr Varadkar will later be confirmed as Taoiseach for the second time following a special sitting of the Dail parliament in Dublin.

The Fine Gael leader is replacing Fianna Fail leader Mr Martin at the head of government under the terms of a coalition deal struck in 2020.

Mr Martin formally tendered his resignation during an audience with Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins at the presidential residence at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin on Saturday morning. He was accompanied by his wife Mary.

Mr Martin said it had been “the honour of a lifetime” to serve the public as taoiseach.

Setting aside almost a century of animosity, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, two parties forged out of Ireland’s Civil War of the 1920s, agreed to share power together in 2020 after that year’s inconclusive general election result.

Ireland’s Green Party also joined the coalition.

Mr Varadkar previously served as taoiseach from 2017 to 2020 at the head of a minority Fine Gael administration that relied on a confidence and supply arrangement with Fianna Fail to maintain power.

The mid-term switch of premiers will also prompt a cabinet reshuffle in Dublin, however, there is expected to be minimal movement among the departmental portfolios.

Photo: The Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. EPA-EFE/Photocall Ireland

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