Leo Varadkar, medical student and member of young Fine Gael, contemplates his aspirations for political life.

Despite the recent spate of tribunals, and revelations about politics and politicians, political parties are recruiting more young people than ever. Labour say their youth membership has doubled in the past year. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael also report large increases, thanks to effective recruitment drives. And Sinn Féin say they now have seven youth groups in Dublin alone where this time last year they had just one.

One such aspiring politician and a member of Young Fine Gael is 20-year-old medical student Leo Varadkar. Leo explains that while he does not come a political family,  he always felt that if you wanted to change things that politics was the best way to do it. Leo is studying to be a doctor but realises that while a doctor can help individuals, the Minister for Health can really change things. 

I felt that politics was a way you could change things for the better.

Fine Gael's pro-European stance was a big attraction for Varadkar who is in favour of further European integration. He was also drawn to Fine Gael by their liberal economic policies.

If I was ready in ten years time, I'd like to be in Leinster House.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 13 April 1999. The reporter is Annette O'Donnell.