Saturday 17 August 2019

Leo's letter to Kylie 'cringe-worthy' and 'demeaning of his office' - TD

  

Kylie Minogue: The Australian pop star got a letter from ‘huge fan Leo V’
Kylie Minogue: The Australian pop star got a letter from ‘huge fan Leo V’
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Leo Varadkar's letter to pop star Kylie Minogue has been labelled "cringe-worthy" and "demeaning of his office" by an Opposition TD.

The Taoiseach wrote the letter to the Australian singer ahead of her proposed visit to Dublin in October for a gig in the 3Arena, and offered to give her a personal welcome to the country.

The letter was issued on official Department of the Taoiseach headed paper.

Despite it being an official note, Mr Varadkar attempted to prevent its release on two occasions under Freedom of Information, before finally relenting.

Leo Varadkar, his partner Matt Barrett and pals met Kylie backstage at her gig at the 3Arena in Dublin last December
Leo Varadkar, his partner Matt Barrett and pals met Kylie backstage at her gig at the 3Arena in Dublin last December

"Dear Kylie, just wanted to drop you a short note in advance of the concert in Dublin," the letter read.

"I am really looking forward to it. Am a huge fan! I understand you are staying in the Merrion Hotel which is just across the street from my office in Government Buildings.

"If you like, I'd love to welcome you to Ireland personally," he added, signing off the letter with "Leo V Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister)".

Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless said that while he could understand to an extent Mr Varadkar reaching out to a well-known person visiting the country, that there are better ways to go about it.

"I think its demeaning of the office sending a letter of that nature," Mr Lawless said.

"I understand there's some discretion to reach out to sports stars or cultural stars. It's a little bit cringe-worthy.

"What compounds it is the refusal. What has the Taoiseach got to hide?"

Mr Lawless said there was an appropriate way of doing things and that the Taoiseach could have sent the letter to Kylie on his own paper without any official Government stamp.

The details were provided to the 'Irish Mail on Sunday' after two initial refusals.

Kylie's October gig was subsequently cancelled when the star came down with a throat infection.

However, the Taoiseach did eventually meet the star backstage after he attended her rescheduled gig in December last year.

Irish Independent

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