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Monday 14 October 2019

Taoiseach says he 'wasn't specifically walking' with MMA fighter Conor McGregor at St Patrick's Day parade

Denies going to 'great lengths' to avoid being photographed with McGregor

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he “wasn’t specifically walking” with MMA fighter Conor McGregor when they lined up at the front of St Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago.

The Taoiseach has tried to distance himself from the controversial Dubliner who he said has had “some trouble with the law”.

However, he defended a photo-op with movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger during a previous trip to America.

Although never convicted of a crime, Schwarzenegger has previously apologised for having “stepped over the line several times” with women.

Asked if that meeting was appropriate, Mr Varadkar said: “I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to, he was Governor of California.”

He denied going to “great lengths” to avoid being photographed with McGregor in Chicago.

“I was happy to walk in the parade on Chicago, but I wasn’t specifically walking with him (McGregor). I was there at the parade at the invitation of the organisers

“Conor McGregor was there I believe at the invitation of the plumbers’ union,” he said.

“Obviously he’s had some trouble with the law in recent months and I wouldn’t condone or like to be associated with the kind of acts he’s been involved in, which include prosecution in New York and potential prosecution in Miami.”

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