| 3.9°C Dublin

I'm too famous for a social life, moans 'Minister for Fun' Leo

He's the youngest member of the Cabinet and the Government's 'Minister for Fun' -- but Leo Varadkar has complained he has no social life.

The 32-year-old Minister for Tourism and Sport has revealed that his life outside work leaves a lot to be desired.

Mr Varadkar admitted he could not even go out to the pub without getting recognised and has to leave Ireland in order to get some rest and relaxation.

When grilled about his personal life, single Leo said: "It's totally dead. It's awful, actually. It's really awful. It's actually very hard to go out because I'm just too feckin' well known. So you can kinda go to a restaurant, you'll probably be left alone. But pubs, nightclubs are desperate, especially people with a bit of drink on them.

"They want to talk to you and introduce you to their friends. It's a nightmare. I've to leave the country to get peace."


But our politicians are no stranger to sacrificing their social lives for their work, with Green Party leader John Gormley famously comparing being in Government during the economic crisis to being in an asylum.

Mr Varadkar said that he was delighted with the Queen's upcoming visit and the subsequent boost for tourism which is expected to follow.

"I'm delighted she's doing it," he said. "I think it's of huge significance. I think what's probably of more significance is her going to the two war memorial parks in Islandbridge, recognising our hidden history of hundreds of thousands of people fighting for the British Crown and then the other side of our history of revolution and kicking the Brits out.

"But I'm delighted she's going to Croke Park and delighted she is going to the Guinness Hops Store. I'm not sure if she'll sip a pint."

Mr Varadkar revealed that he would keep the controversial travel tax in place if Aer Lingus and Ryanair do not open more routes, saying they could both do a lot for Irish tourism.

He explained that he was making good progress with Aer Lingus, but Ryanair "want it all their own way".

And Mr Varadkar revealed that he would happily "take on" Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary if necessary.