Simon Harris: A Journey to Taoiseach

Image of Simon Harris, Ireland’s potential Taoiseach, symbolizing his journey from a youthful politician to the prospect of becoming Prime Minister
Simon Harris: A Journey to Taoiseach

Simon Harris, a prominent Irish politician, is poised to become Ireland's next Prime Minister (Taoiseach) following the surprising resignation of Leo Varadkar. At 37, Harris currently serves as the Minister for Further and Higher Education and has been a member of the Fine Gael party since his early years.

Early Life and Education

Born in Wicklow, Ireland, in 1986, Harris began his political journey early in life. While initially studying journalism at the Dublin Institute of Technology, he left before completing his degree to pursue a career in politics.

Political Career

Harris's political career took off when he joined the Fine Gael party's youth wing. In 2011, at the remarkable age of 24, he was elected to the Dáil Éireann (Irish parliament) as a TD (Teachta Dála) for Wicklow, becoming the youngest member of the Dáil at that time.

From 2014 to 2016, Harris served as a junior minister in the Department of Finance. He later assumed the role of Minister for Health in 2016, where he was widely commended for his management of Ireland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-2020, Harris was appointed Minister for Further and Higher Education.

Leadership Contest

Following Leo Varadkar’s sudden resignation as Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach on March 22, 2024, Harris swiftly emerged as the front-runner to succeed him. Within hours of nominations opening, Harris had secured the support of nearly half of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

Several high-profile potential rivals, including Simon Coveney, Helen McEntee, Paschal Donohoe, and Heather Humphreys, withdrew from the race and endorsed Harris.

Challenges Ahead

If elected, Harris will become Ireland’s youngest-ever Taoiseach. He will face the challenge of leading Fine Gael into the next general election, expected by early 2025. Harris will also need to navigate the complexities of Ireland’s coalition government, which includes Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Green Party.


Harris is known for his active presence on social media, particularly TikTok, where he has 92,000 followers and 1.8 million likes on his videos. He is considered a skilled communicator and played a leading role in the successful 2018 referendum campaign to legalize abortion in Ireland. If elected, Harris will surpass Leo Varadkar as Ireland’s youngest-ever Prime Minister.

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