FORMER First Minister, Arlene Foster, has wished outgoing Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar well despite "disagreeing with him" for "most" of his time in office. 

Varadkar announced on Wednesday that he was standing down as Ireland’s prime minister, and also giving up his role as leader of the Fine Gael party in the ruling coalition.

The surprise move described by pundits as a “political earthquake” for the country.

Arlene Foster took to X to wish to extend her wishes to the outgoing Taoiseach.

She said: "Leo Varadkar has announced he is leaving office and despite disagreeing with him for most, (not all), of his time, I want to wish him well for the future because leaving office is never easy."

While Varadkar's departure will not automatically trigger a snap election, it comes only 10 weeks before European parliamentary and local elections and less than a year before Ireland’s next general election.