Sunday 25 February 2018

'Are you Irish?' - J1 student left red-faced after making Leo Varadkar wait for table

Emma Kelly and her friend Eimear with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Chicago
Emma Kelly and her friend Eimear with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Chicago

Cillian Sherlock

An Irish student on a J1 was left feeling embarrassed after she didn’t recognise Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when he came into her Chicago restaurant.

Dubliner Emma Kelly (20) admitted she didn't know who Mr Varadkar was and then left him waiting before finally seating him at a tiny table.

“Honestly what is wrong with me?” she tweeted.

She said two men came into the restaurant and she told them they had to wait to sit outside.

"I was like ‘oh hey are you guys Irish?’ and they were like ‘yeah…’ so I sent to them to the bar and a couple of minutes later I took them to a two person table,” she said.

“They were like 'oh we have an extra person'. So, I was like ‘okay, I’ll get you the next bigger table that opens,” Emma added.

She told Independent.ie she realised her mistake when her friend Eimear, who also works in the Chicago restaurant Barcocina, told her the Taoiseach was sitting outside.

“I was like, ah jaysis I can't believe I made the Taoiseach wait for a table and he thought it was funny but actually was like ‘it's nice being treated like a normal person’,” she said.

Emma, who studies Biomedical Science in Maynooth, then got what she described as a "painfully awkward" picture with the Mr Varadkar, adding he is "officially [her] fave Taoiseach".

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