Leo is a long-time member of Fine Gael, he came up through the ranks and has held many roles in the party. He is devoted to Fine Gael and chose to join the party as a young man because he shares its views and believes in its values. Leo is 38 years old, was born and reared in Dublin, but has strong links with rural Ireland through his family. He lives in Carpenterstown in West Dublin. He is a medical doctor and GP by profession and a graduate of Trinity College. His mother is a nurse from Waterford, his Father a doctor from India. He has two sisters (a nurse and a neurologist). He is interested in sport (rugby and Gaelic football), music and history. He is a fitness fan and takes part in runs, triathlons and swims.
In Fine Gael
Leo joined Fine Gael as an ordinary member of his local branch, dropping leaflets, canvassing for candidates and attending meetings. He got involved in Young Fine Gael (YFG) in college and served two terms on the YFG National Executive.
He ran unsuccessfully in the local elections in 1999 at the age of 20 when the party needed a candidate. Undeterred he worked hard for the next five years at all levels of the party in Dublin West. He stood again in 2004, winning the highest vote in Ireland (almost 5,000 votes). Leo understands the work and importance of a local councillor. He believes it is essential experience for politics and knows the personal and financial sacrifices that local authority members have to make.
In 2002, Fine Gael only secured half a quota in Dublin West and with three of Ireland’s biggest political personalities competing in the three-seater constituency in Brian Lenihan, Joan Burton and Joe Higgins, Fine Gael were not expected to win in 2007. However, Leo almost doubled the FG first preference vote and took a seat by unseating Joe Higgins. He outpolled Brian Lenihan in 2011 and in 2016 Leo topped the poll.
Leo served on the Fine Gael frontbench from 2007-11 as Spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and later Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. He played an instrumental role in the 2011 General Election campaign as one of the key spokespeople. He was appointed to Cabinet in 2011.
In 2016 he was a negotiator for the Party in the formation of the new government.