Why Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wore a 'shamrock poppy' in the Dáil - and what it means
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has worn a 'Shamrock Poppy' in the Dáil to "recognise Irish soldiers who fought in World War I."
The move is a first for the leader of Fine Gael and is likely to spark debate over how the Irishmen and women who served in the British army are remembered.
Mr Varadkar’s predecessor Enda Kenny broke new ground in 2012 when he took part in a Remembrance Day event – but he declined to wear the poppy.
More than 200,000 Irish men and women served in the British forces during World War I between 1914 and 1918.
Taoiseach is wearing a poppy-shamrock in the Dail chamber today pic.twitter.com/o0j75SdN3U— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) November 7, 2017
The emblem worn by the Taoiseach today shows a poppy laid on top of a shamrock and was supplied by the Irish branch of the Royal Legion.
A spokesperson for Mr Varadkar said: "The Taoiseach was given the Shamrock Poppy by Senator Frank Feighan and the issue has also been supported by Senator Neale Richmond.
It's only controversial for the sad sad people stuck in the middle ages, we live in the 21st century, fair play to him, I'd wear it too
Wow 3 great uncles who at the time were nothing more than boys children going of to war.. to provide money for their family to fight a fight they barely understood to avoid starvation in country that had no food... 3 great uncles who fought for world freedom in flanders who were rejected and cast out by their own country when they returned.. no hero's welcome no recognition their own sacrifices.. belittled and snubbed.. 3 hero's as far as I'm concerned and proud of them I will always be.. shamrock poppy easter lily's they are symbols to remember to never forget they are not there to say we remain angry we must hate they are there to remind us. The poppy isn't a political weapon it's a mark of respect to the men and women who faught and sacrificed themselves for our freedom. We would all do well to remember them for without them what world would we be living now..
The British have made it a symbol of nationalism and anyone who doesn’t wear it is considered to be anti British, especially in Northern Ireland ! Too much hurt associated with it for many in Ireland!
Wearing the Poppy in any form shows total disrespect for ALL of those murdered by The British Army in every conflict Worldwide.
When will people realise it's not about politics or religion. It's about the people who died in WW1 . Irish regiments served in France and Belgium as well as other countries. Get over the civil war politics and move on.
He is the leader of our country and leads by example as we approach the centenary of the end of the first world war it is important to have the debate so we may remember Irish men that fell and fought at the Somme pachendale Gallipoli amongst others not forgetting the regiments in the American civil war that fought on both sides with bravery and the second world war and the men of 1916 surely we can remember our fallen as they were our grandfather's granduncles and neighbours
This is refreshing to see! At last there is respect for the Irish killed in conflict, this is progress. You cannot pick and choose your history, these Irishmen should be remembered. So much sacrifice in so many unjust conflicts - war is horrific for all sides.
I've been living in England for just over a year. I'm a Dub and I wear a shamrock poppy badge. I wear it as a mark of respect for our fallen Irish men, who had no choice but to fight if they wanted to feed their families. But instead of being seen as heroes they were seen as traitors. Fair play to Leo for wearing the badge in my opinion...
Showing his true colours - he would be really happy if he could fly the Union Jack over Leinster House
Black n tans will sleep well tonight, they have a new leader
"The Shamrock Poppy recognises Irish soldiers who fought in World War I. It was commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War by the Irish branch of the Royal British Region to remember the 206,000 Irishmen that fought, 26,500 of whom died in battle."
Proceeds from the Shamrock Poppy go to Irish veterans and their families, and towards the upkeep to memorials to Irish soldiers in Ireland.
All money stays in Ireland.