Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he now regrets saying in 2015 that he would like to retire from politics by the age of 51.
At the time – before he succeeded Enda Kenny as party leader and Taoiseach last summer who has been a TD since 1975 – the qualified medical doctor, TD and Minister, said he did not see himself still in politics a decade from then.
He said: “I have my exit strategy, either go back to college or study abroad, or doing something medical and political abroad.
“I don’t see myself in politics at 51, I definitely want to do something else. Whatever I do next it will be different, not politics,” he said.
This week he told reporters in Ireland who asked him if he might return to medicine some day he said he was sorry he ever said he’d leave politics once he turned 50.
“I regret answering the way I did because it was mistaken by some people as a lack of commitment to politics and I can absolutely guarantee you that I’m 100 per cent committed to this job, as Taoiseach, leading my party and doing everything I can for my constituency of Dublin West, so that’s my focus at the moment,” said Varadkar, adding:
“I haven’t contemplated retirement from politics for a very long time and I can assure you I’ll be around for as long as the people want me.”