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From TikTok Taoiseach to Ireland’s youngest ever ‘prime minister’ – how the world reported on Simon Harris ‘coronation’


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Whether it is Taoiseach or prime minister being attributed as the job title, readers from the US all the way to China are learning about the Fine Gael frontman.

But how exactly are some of the world’s top publications treating the news of his appointment?


Time magazine is based in New York and known worldwide for its iconic cover photos. It reported that following the “shock resignation” of Leo Varadkar, Mr Harris has been sworn in as the “Republic of Ireland’s youngest Prime Minister”.

The magazine described the 37-year-old as the “TikTok Taoiseach” for his social media prowess. However, it adds that his time as leader “could be a short one”, with an election looming.

New York Times

Continuing the New York theme, the famous newspaper used a quote in its headline stating Mr Harris has “always been hungry for this”.

The first line of the report informed readers that the new Taoiseach dropped out of university in 2008.

The article details that it all culminated in a “swift political rise to a post he has long aspired to”.

However, it said that while Mr Harris has reached the top of his centre-right party, Fine Gael has “stagnated in the polls” and his time as Taoiseach “may also be short-lived”.

“Support for traditional parties has waned in the wake of a cost-of-living crisis and a severe housing shortage,” it adds.

The Guardian

The UK’s left-wing liberal daily said Simon Harris has “pledged to invigorate Ireland’s ruling coalition” after being elected the country’s youngest Taoiseach.

The article described Mr Harris as being from a working-class family in Greystones, Co Wicklow. It states that he dropped out of college to focus on political activism and later “built support among Fine Gael grassroots while hopscotching through cabinet positions”.


The UK’s public service broadcaster put Irish words to the fore in their article on Ireland’s newest leader, although they ensured that readers could fully understand their meaning.

“Simon Harris has been elected as Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) by members of the Dáil (Irish parliament),” the introduction reads.

It informed readers that the new Taoiseach pledged to guard and honour his role “as protector and guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement”.

The article mentions a story from Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, who said she thought Mr Harris was “on a school tour” when she first saw him in the Dáil in 2011.

Today’s News in 90 Seconds – April 10th

South China Morning Post

The South China Morning Post, published in the country where TikTok originated, also called Mr Harris the TikTok Taoiseach in its headline.

The Hong-Kong-based paper said Mr Harris “will be hoping his social media skills and fresh face can save his Fine Gael party’s flagging fortunes as elections loom”.

The article adds: “With 1.4 million ‘likes’ on TikTok, and hundreds of thousands of followers on both X and Instagram, Harris posts content almost daily to his audience.

“But some of his videos and remarks have been seen as trying too hard to appeal to the younger generation.

“During a stormy parliamentary committee meeting, Harris told the group: ‘Chillax – I think everyone needs to take a step back here’.

“All the young people know what ‘chillax’ is, he said in parliament the next day.”

Al Jazeera

Broadcaster Al Jazeera, which reaches 430 million homes worldwide and is funded in part by the Qatari government, said Simon Harris becomes Ireland’s “youngest-ever prime minister”.

It said the former health and higher education minister “best known for helping steer Ireland’s initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic, was elected unopposed”.

They added that “Harris’s election as prime minister caps a meteoric political rise”, detailing his move from the youth branch of Fine Gael at the age of 16 up through its ranks.

The Jerusalem Post

The Israel-based Jerusalem Post leads with the headline: “New Irish PM on Gaza: Reason has been replaced by revenge.”

It states how Mr Harris, Ireland’s youngest-ever prime minister, “affirmed on Saturday his willingness to recognise a Palestinian state, condemned Hamas, and called for the release of hostages”.

“Harris also, however, condemned Israel’s conduct in its war against the jihadist group,” it reads.

The article adds: “Harris said that in Gaza, ‘reason has been replaced by revenge, by bombing, by maiming, and by the death of children.”

It also says he referenced famine, saying it was “a spectre no Irish person can bear”.

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