Thursday 19 October 2017

'It's a little thrill' - Leo Varadkar can't hide his excitement as he visits 'Love Actually location' 10 Downing Street

Taoiseach's first visit abroad since taking the office last week

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attend a joint press conference following a meeting at 10 Downing Street, London June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Philip Toscano/Pool
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attend a joint press conference following a meeting at 10 Downing Street, London June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Philip Toscano/Pool
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

LEO Varadkar could not contain his enthusiasm for his first overseas trip as Taoiseach and spoke of his "thrill" at being in 10 Downing Street, the location for Christmas-movie staple Love Actually.

However, despite opening his remarks after his first meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May with the bizarre reference to the Hugh Grant rom-com, he soon had to address more serious matters - the various tragedies to have struck Britain in recent weeks.

Mr Varadkar is in London today for talks on Brexit and Northern Ireland, but he began his remarks with the movie reference.

He said to Mrs May: "Prime Minister. Thank you very much for hosting us today here in 10 Downing Street. It's my first time in this building so there's a little thrill in it as well.

He added that on the way he he was "reminded of that famous scene in Love Actually where Hugh Grant was dancing down the stairs".

"But apparently it wasn't actually filmed here," he added.

Mr Varadkar then referenced the fact it was his first visit overseas as Taoiseach and thanked the Prime Minister for arranging to meet at such short notice.

"It does I think underline and emphasis the strength and the closeness of the relationship that exists between our two countries."

Then Mr Varadkar spoke of the tragedies that have befallen Britain in recent weeks - the London Bridge terror attack, the Grenfell Tower fire and last night's horror outside Finsbury Park Mosque.

"At the meeting I spoke again and offer the condolences on behalf of the Irish people and the Irish government to the British people and the British government on the enormous tragedies that this country and this city has faced...

"We passed the Grenfell Tower on the way today and saw the destruction that occurred there and even this morning as you know there's been another atrocity up in Finsbury Park on top of what's happened at London Bridge.

"London is a very important city for Irish people. I think pretty much everybody in Ireland has somebody who lives here, a relative of theirs or and when there is an attack on  London we feel in Ireland that it's almost an attack on us as well.

"I just want you to know that you have our support and our solidarity and if there's anything that we can do to assist we're ready and willing to do so," Mr Varadkar said.

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