Leo opens up about stable life with Matt
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar opened up about his stable relationship with his partner Dr Matthew Barrett, last night, in one of his most revealing interviews to date.
Mr Varadkar, who said he is ‘probably quite reserved’, admitted it was ‘first serious relationship’ and that, while ‘it’s great to have someone unconditionally on your side’, the cardiologist is someone who can tell him when he is ‘wrong’ and provides stability in his life.
‘And you need to be told sometimes when you have got something wrong or you have over reacted. And he can do that, and I know he is doing it out of interest and out of support for me. It was his first time on the chat show as Taoiseach, and the wide ranging interview also covered his relationships with the leaders of the major opposition parties, Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald.
He also cited housing as being the issue which probably keeps him up at night.
Mr Varadkar said: ‘I suppose it depends on what is happening in that particular week, it will probably be Brexit next week but I think that the one thing probably would be the housing situation.
‘Not just homelessness, but the fact that loads of people, you know people in their 30s unable to buy their first home, facing rent increases. And that feeds into other things as well, that feeds into rising wage demands and mental health issues, yes… food and shelter, these are fundamental things people need to have.’
When the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin appeared on the same show in recent weeks, broadcaster Ryan Tubridy recalled that he said the young Taoiseach was ‘immature’.
However, the Taoiseach quipped that Mr Martin is ‘definitely mature’ as ‘he was elected to the Dáil in the ‘80s I think under Charlie Haughey,’ which drew a round of applause from the audience.
The Taoiseach appears to share a tetchy relationship with Mary Lou McDonald and the pair regularly steal headlines with their verbal sparring matches.
But last night Mr Varadkar appeared to extend the olive branch when he hailed her as ‘intelligent’ and ‘very articulate’, and put his previous description of her as being cranky as ‘a one off’ and part of ‘political banter’.
Despite this, he again firmly ruled out Sinn Féin as ever being a party Fine Gael would go into coalition with.
When pushed to talk about the HSE and not the people who work in it, he conceded the HSE is not fit for purpose in its current format – ‘not as the organisation that it is now’, but referred to Sláintecare as being the ‘all-party plan’ they have ‘to change that’.
Late Late chat: Leo Varadkar