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Coalition leaders’ personal relationship ‘very good’ – but no festive pints this year

The Taoiseach said the three leaders trust each other, so far.

Image: RollingNews.ie

MICHEÁL MARTIN HAS has described his personal relationship with Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan as “very good”, but said they will not be getting together for Christmas drinks.

The Taoiseach said he would love to meet the Tanaiste for a pint but it has not been possible because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Martin also revealed that he has received a hand-painted landscape Christmas card from Ryan.

“We get on very well,” said the Taoiseach.

“I got a lovely Christmas card from Eamon this morning which he painted himself, no pressure in terms of the response.

“I hope that’s not revealing too much. He’s a very good artist.

The Green Party leader, whose father, Bob Ryan, was an artist, often paints during his holidays.

Ryan sends out about 100 Christmas cards, which he has painted over the course of the year, to family, friends and colleagues.

Martin told reporters this week that other than politics, the three leaders chat about books, films and sport. 

“One of the things we say is because of Covid-19, it’s been very strange. Normally you would get out for a meal or to have a pint but that just hasn’t been possible.

“Normally around this time of the year that you might grab a chance you know, but it’s just not possible but some day.

Martin said the three leaders work well together.

“We’ve a good working relationship and we have that facility to pick up the phone if there are any issues and we talk about different things as well outside of politics.”

What kind of things?

“Films, books. He [Leo] listens patiently to our banter about soccer when Paschal Donohoe is in the room.

“Tottenham Hotspur. The last slag really you know, the Liverpool fans, I think Klopp losing it was a very bad sign I thought for Liverpool,” Martin told reporters.

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“Leo always observes this with a degree of humour,” said the Taoiseach.

“Martin Fraser [the Secretary General of the Department of An Taoiseach] and Paschal Donohoe are the Liverpool fans. I thought it was very striking that Klopp lost it. I like Klopp, don’t get me wrong,” he joked.

“When the boss is losing the patience and getting a yellow card and so on like that.

“Leo is more knowledgeable on rugby and Gaelic football… He is on rugby, he played rugby, I think he did in his younger days.”

When asked is he surprised at how well he gets on with the Tánasite, he said:

“Not really. I tend to get on with most people. We’re in politics, we trust each other so far.”

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