Monday 24 June 2019

'It was an attempt at humour' - Taoiseach has 'no regrets' over Tweet

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Collins
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has “no regrets” over getting in a Twitter spat with a faceless user who has 28 followers.

With the outcome of Brexit talks dominating the news agenda in the UK, Mr Varadkar replied to a tweet criticising comments he made about wanting to lead a small country that played a role in big decisions.

A Brexit support described Ireland as a country that borrowed “millions off the UK, just to survive” and added that Mr Varadkar’s talk of influence was “another bad Irish joke”.

The Taoiseach responded by noting that Ireland has repaid IMF loans early and with interest.

“Happy to do same for U.K. and help them out financially in the future if they need it for some reason...,” he said in a Tweet to his 176,000 followers.

The exchange was picked up by some British and international media outlets, including Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for Mr Vardakar said today that he “originates all of his own tweets” and “no regrets for sending that tweet”.

The Government spokesperson added that the Taoiseach does not do a lot of British media because his comments are often “taken up completely in the wrong way”.

Asked whether such Tweets were heightening tensions at a sensitive time in the Brexit negotiations, the spokesperson said: “It was an attempt at humour. It was a light-hearted remark.”

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