Eamon Gilmore honoured as one of the "Leading Global Thinkers of 2015"

Former Labour leader honoured "for championing gay marriage in a Catholic bastion"

Eamon Gilmore honoured as one of the "Leading Global Thinkers of 2015"

Eamon Gilmore at the count centre in RDS | Image: Photocall

Eamon Gilmore has been named one of the Leading Global Thinkers of 2015 by the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.

The 100 honorees “represent how the struggle (of curing what ails the world) – from Raqqa to Washington, Athens to Kabul – continues.”

Gilmore, the former Labour party leader was honoured by the magazine for “championing gay marriage in a catholic bastion”.

Foreign Policy points to Ireland’s vote on marriage equality as one of the examples to the world that “public opinion, no matter how seemingly intransigent, can change”.

The awards are separated into various categories – the challengers, the decision makers, the artists, the healers etc. Gilmore is included as one of the Challengers, alongside figures such as Brazilian Attorney General Rodrigo Janot, who has successfully exposed bribery and corruption in the nation’s state-run oil company Petrobras, and Khaled Al-Assad, a Syrian archaeologist who refused to abandon Palymra – the historic site in Syria where he had been head of antiquities for 40 years – as Islamic State (IS) approached. He repeatedly refused to reveal where relics had been hidden, and on August 18 IS publicly beheaded him.

The list has previously honoured US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angel Merkel and Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

Gilmore was “one of the key backers” of the May 2015 marriage equality referendum, the magazine says.

“In 2011 the then-Labour leader pushed for a vote as a policy goal, even thought eh ruling Fine Gael party – which Labour had joined in a coalition and which had never taken a stance on gay marriage – was ‘chilly’ on the matter

“In 2012 Gilmore became the most senior Irish politician officially to publicly support marriage equality and helped ensure that the issue would go” to a vote.

In October Gilmore was named the EU peace envoy to Colombia.