Sunday 22 October 2017

'You don't get anything for nothing' - Varadkar's new slogan

John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Ireland Funds with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Prince Albert of Monaco and Kieran McLoughlin, CEO of the Ireland Funds, at the gala dinner of the Ireland Fund. Mark Stedman
John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Ireland Funds with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Prince Albert of Monaco and Kieran McLoughlin, CEO of the Ireland Funds, at the gala dinner of the Ireland Fund. Mark Stedman

Newly elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said his Government is working to achieve a country where people are rewarded for "work and persistence".

Speaking at the Ireland Funds gala dinner, Mr Varadkar said he wants to create a Republic where you "don't get anything for nothing", echoing comments he made during the Fine Gael leadership campaign.

More than 200 people attended the black-tie gala dinner at the Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, last night.

The guest of honour was Prince Albert of Monaco, who is currently visiting the birthplace of his ancestors.

Prince Albert's grandfather Jack Kelly was Irish American and Mr Varadkar referenced his ties to Ireland in his address.

He said: "According to his daughter, (Princess) Grace, he had a very simple view of life. It was: 'You don't get anything for nothing. Everything has to be earned, through work, persistence and honesty.'

"That message could be the slogan for the kind of Ireland I believe in, and which my government is working to achieve.

"A Republic of Opportunity based on work, persistence and honesty, where we provide a threshold below which no one is allowed to fall, and enable people to reach their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their families."

Mr Varadkar also spoke of his desire for Ireland to play a greater role in international affairs.

"I would like Ireland to secure a seat on the UN Security Council, so that we can play an even greater role in international affairs and to achieving 'a world of laws'.

"In a time of global uncertainty, rising terrorism, and threats to peace, it is right that we expand our diplomatic footprint overseas.

"It is precisely because our forces threaten no one that, in the words of President Kennedy, we can 'help create a world in which no nation is threatened'. Today the world faces threats that even President Kennedy at the height of the cold war could never have imagined."

He also warned of the rising tide of populism around the world.

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network established in 1976 which has raised over $550m.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News