Leo’s way

Photo ops, vi­ral tweets and tough talk­ing

The Irish Times - - News Features -

June 14th: Leo Varad­kar elected Taoiseach by the Dáil and re­ceives his seals of of­fice from Pres­i­dent Michael D Hig­gins. There is con­tro­versy as Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says the ap­point­ment of out­go­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral Máire Whe­lan to the Court of Ap­peal is “di­rectly po­lit­i­cal”.

June 16th: Taoiseach meets DUP leader Ar­lene Fos­ter and Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill in Gov­ern­ment Build­ings. June 19th: Varad­kar pro­ceeds with Whe­lan’s move to the Court of Ap­peal and she is ap­pointed by Hig­gins.

June 19th: Varad­kar meets Theresa May in Down­ing Street. “It’s my first time in this build­ing so there’s a lit­tle thrill in it as well,” the Taoiseach said at a press con­fer­ence with May. “We spoke on the way in and I was re­minded of that fa­mous scene in Love Ac­tu­ally where Hugh Grant does his dance down the stairs. But ap­par­ently, it wasn’t ac­tu­ally filmed here so I didn’t get a chance to see the stairs.”

June 20th: The Taoiseach is crit­i­cised when only three women are in­cluded among the ranks of his 19 Min­is­ters of State.

June 22nd: Taoiseach at­tends his first meet­ing of the Euro­pean Coun­cil in Brus­sels.

June 24th: At Dublin pride, Varad­kar tells a crowd in Smith­field: “I pledge as Taoiseach to use my of­fice, for as long as I hold it, to ad­vance the cause of LGBT rights, to press for mar­riage equal­ity across Ire­land, to speak up for LGBT rights around the world where they are un­der at­tack, and to push for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the sex­ual health strat­egy here at home at a time when it is more im­por­tant than ever.”

June 27th: Varad­kar speaks to US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in a phone call, dur­ing which Trump con­grat­u­lates the Taoiseach on his “great vic­tory”.

July 4th: The Taoiseach hosts Cana­dian prime min­is­ter Justin Trudeau for a visit. Varad­kar wears a pair of nov­elty, Cana­di­anthemed red socks (right) and the pair later go jog­ging in the Phoenix Park.

July 7th: Varad­kar tells RTÉ’s Prime­time he is con­cerned about some of Garda ev­i­dence in the Job­stown trial.

July 12th: In the Dáil, Varad­kar (above) tells Paul Mur­phy, ac­quit­ted in the Job­stown trial: “You’re not a vic­tim”. He also says Mur­phy owes for­mer tá­naiste Joan Burton an apol­ogy for the 2014 in­ci­dent.

“You’re not a vic­tim here,” he told Mur­phy. “You’re not the vic­tim of any con­spir­acy. You got a fair trial here and you were ac­quit­ted. But that doesn’t mean your be­hav­iour was right.

“And it may well be the case that you weren’t en­gaged in kid­nap­ping but it was thug­gery and your be­hav­iour was wrong.” July 13th: Varad­kar fea­tures as the cover story of Time mag­a­zine’s Euro­pean edi­tion (left), and says he wants “Ire­land to be a light unto the world”. July 26th: The Cab­i­net ap­points Frank Clarke as chief jus­tice to suc­ceed Su­san Den­ham. July 27th: In an in­ter­view to mark broad­caster Vin­cent Browne’s fi­nal TV3 show, the Taoiseach says he gets up in the morn­ing at 6.45.

July 28th: In a round­table in­ter­view with po­lit­i­cal cor­re­spon­dents, Varad­kar sig­nif­i­cantly tough­ens the Gov­ern­ment’s lan­guage on Brexit, say­ing Ire­land is “not go­ing to de­sign a bor­der for the Brex­i­teers”.

Au­gust 4th: Varad­kar de­liv­ers a key­note speech on Brexit at Queen’s Univer­sity, Belfast. He at­tends a break­fast in Belfast to mark Pride in the city thenext day. Au­gust 15th:

While on hol­i­day in Chicago, the Taoiseach is made to wait for a ta­ble by an Ir­ish wait­ress who doesn’t recog­nise him (be­low). be­tween A the Twit­ter Taoiseach ex­change­and J1 stu­dentvi­ral. Emma Kelly goes Au­gust 20th:

Varad­kar meets Trudeau in Mon­treal, and the pair march to­gether in the city’s Pride pa­rade. Au­gust 25th:

The Taoiseach trav­els to Done­gal to meet those af­fected by flood­ing.

Au­gust 31st: Varad­kar tweets: “Still re­mem­ber where I was the mo­ment I heard Diana had died. Hard to be­lieve it’s twenty years. #Diana20Years.”

On the same day, at a meet­ing with the Catholic bish­ops, he is urged to re­con­sider plans to hold a ref­er­en­dum on the Eighth Amend­ment. Septem­ber 9th: In an in­ter­view with the New York Times, Varad­kar ex­plains some of his think­ing on abor­tion. “While I don’t ac­cept the view that the un­born child, the foe­tus, if you pre­fer that term, should have equal rights to an adult woman, to the mother, I don’t share this view that the baby in the womb, the foe­tus, what­ever term you want to use, should have no rights at all. “And there are peo­ple who take the view that hu­man rights only be­gin af­ter you’re born and that a child in the womb with a beat­ing heart, the abil­ity to hear, the abil­ity to feel pain, should have no rights what­so­ever. I don’t agree with that.” In­tro­duc­ing her read­ers to Varad­kar, colum­nist Mau­reen Dowd says: “Move over DiCaprio and da Vinci – Here’s Ire­land’s Leo.” Septem­ber 10th:

Nóirín O’Sul­li­van re­signs as Garda-com­mis­sioner. Varad­kar says the move was in the best in­ter­ests of An Garda Síochána, and says re­form of the force will ac­cel­er­ate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.