Saturday 18 January 2020

Missed the boat: Leo and Matt turn down offer to be ferry 'godparents'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett at the Forty Foot. Picture: Mark Condren
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett at the Forty Foot. Picture: Mark Condren
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett have passed up on a chance to be 'godparents' to a new ferry.

The offer was made in a letter to the Taoiseach ahead of the launch of Stena Line's new vessel, the Estrid, which is to begin serving the Dublin to Holyhead route this month.

Others who have held the honorary role for previous vessels include TV presenter Kathryn Thomas.

However, Stena Line confirmed the offer to Mr Varadkar and Mr Barrett was not accepted on this occasion.

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A spokesman said it "wasn't possible" to arrange for the couple to be godparents of the new ferry, but added Stena Line was still hopeful it could happen with a future vessel.

The Department of the Taoiseach did not respond to queries on the issue.

The offer came in a letter from senior Stena Line executive Ian Hampton.

He said he was writing on behalf of the shipping line's owner Dan Sten Olsson and chief executive Niclas Martensson and they wanted to meet to discuss "overall Brexit readiness".

Mr Hampton also wrote: "During our meeting, we would like to formally ask yourself and your partner to be the godparents of the vessel that will operate [the] Holyhead and Dublin route. We ask out of sincerity for our important relationship with the Republic of Ireland whilst ensuring we live our values."

Irish Independent

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