Leo's ready to welcome Matt back from America
Football's not coming home. But An Taoiseach's other half Dr Matt Barrett is. "He's home [from his job in America] next week," Leo told me. (Who else is he going to tell? Some stone-faced drip of a pol corr?) Your diarist then asked the youngest An T ever, will he and Matt be moving in together? Will Matt be accompanying An T to events? "I will pass on that. Private stuff. You can say that I am just glad to have him back. In some ways the year apart was OK as it allowed me to focus on the new job but I am looking forward now to having someone to confide in again." (I thought that was my job, Leo.)
A clue to Leo's views on him and Matt going to State events was perhaps revealed in May of 2017 in an interview by the Fine Gael leader with his favourite journalist - me, sillies! - where he explained: "First of all, we're not married. We've only been going out for two years, and, secondly, while that has been the tradition in politics, it doesn't necessarily have to be. Take Angela Merkel. She is on her third term at the moment. She has been chancellor for nearly 15 years. She has a husband [Joachim Sauer] but he has a job. He has only ever attended one occasion with her because he has his own career.
"I think that would be part of the generational shift in politics, because traditionally you had a male leader, a wife who had given up her job. We are now moving into an era across the world where men and couples have their own careers."