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Making A Splash

'Brexit-hater' Varadkar's emotional parting: How international media covered the Taoiseach's announcement

Some outlets have chosen to play it safe while others have chosen some… alternative angles.

THE BOMBSHELL ANNOUNCEMENT that Leo Varadkar is resigning as Taoiseach and as leader of Fine Gael has been reported on by newsrooms internationally.

There has been mixed reaction to the announcement globally. Some outlets opted to play it safe while others have chosen alternative angles.

BBC in the United Kingdom and CNN in the United States were those who went with a straight-news headline.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 164427 BBC BBC

Screenshot 2024-03-20 164508 CNN CNN

Fox News

Fox News, also in the US, went with an equally factual headline. But chose to include Varadkar’s middle name… maybe a bit too factual?

Screenshot 2024-03-20 164551 Fox News Fox News

The Express

The Express Newspaper in the UK chose to remind its readers of Varadkar’s stance on Brexit – in case anyone over there had forgotten.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 164654 The Express The Express

The Telegraph

Irish historian and writer Ruth Dudley Edwards penned her opinion piece for The Telegraph in Britain very quickly, wishing Varadkar farewell before handing him the bad news.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 164751 The Telegraph The Telegraph


The European branch of Politico – one of the biggest international, political news outlets – also reported on the story. Its subheading labelled the move a “surprise”.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 151019 Politico Politico

Al Jazeera

Qatari and Middle Eastern News network Al Jazeera also covered the surprise announcement. The outlet briefly profiled Varadkar, describing the rotating Taoiseach arrangement with Tánaiste Micheál Martin as a “job-share”.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 151315 Al Jazeera Al Jazeera

Associated Press and Reuters

Other international news agencies, Associated Press and Reuters, also covered the Taoiseach’s departure. Reuters’ World News section currently leads with Varadkar’s resignation.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 164904 Reuters Reuters

Associated Press took a factual and informative approach to its headline.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 165022 Associated Press Associated Press

The Jerusalem Post

Israel’s The Jerusalem Post chose to include Varadkar’s “lost and found” comment in its headline.

In November, the Irish ambassador to Israel was summoned by the Israeli Foreign Minister after Varadkar quoted a bible verse when nine-year-old Emily Hand was released by Hamas from Gaza after almost 50 days.

Israeli officials were outraged by the Taoiseach’s remarks, which was misquoted on a number of occasions – including in this headline. The body of article does not give any mention to the remarks.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 165122 The Jerusalem Post The Jerusalem Post

The New York Times

The New York Times newspaper omits Varadkar’s name from its headline, going with the short and simple: 

Screenshot 2024-03-20 152801 New York Times New York Times

The Guardian

The Guardian in the United Kingdom leans on the shock element of the announcement, describing the move as causing a “political earthquake” in its first paragraph.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 165227 The Guardian The Guardian

Sky News

As news of Kate Middleton’s data being allegedly breached makes shockwaves across the UK, Varadkar’s announcement managed to trump it.

Sky News knocked Middleton’s alleged data leak from its lead story this afternoon and replaced it with the Taoiseach’s “emotional” announcement.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 153500 Sky News Sky News

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