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Leo Varadkar is on the cover of Time magazine

The Europe edition asked the new Taoiseach about Trump, Trudeau and the possibility of an Irexit.
Jul 13th 2017, 1:44 PM 86,992 148

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has been enjoying the favour of the international media since he was appointed – this time, it’s on the cover of the Europe edition of Time magazine.

The 24 July edition’s front page includes a quote from Varadkar calling Ireland ‘an island at the centre of the world’ – an extract from the interview entitled A Portrait of the Prime Minister As a Young Man.

The international media has, by and large, been incredibly fawning over Ireland’s new leader, saying that Varadkar’s sexuality and ethnic background signal a significant shift to Ireland’s identity as an insular, Catholic nation.

In the interview, Varadkar insisted his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month wasn’t just a photo opportunity to distract – a response to criticism that important matters were pushed aside for events that focused more on socks, bodhráns and jogs than Trump, trade and Brexit.

In the interview, he defends Ireland’s corporate tax rate, speaks about the importance of advancing equality during his tenure, and says he can ‘absolutely’ rule out the possibility of Ireland leaving the EU.

He also mentions a phone call with Donald Trump from 2011 concerning the businessman’s Doonbeg golf course in Co Clare. Varadkar was Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport at the time, and Trump called him to ask for a planning problem to be resolved.

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“I got the impression,” Varadkar told Time, ”he was the kind of person who would pick up the phone and want to ring the man or woman who is in charge over there, rather than necessarily going through normal business or diplomatic procedures…

There are pluses and minuses to that.

The full Q&A with Varadkar is here.

It’s not the first time a Taoiseach has been on Time’s cover – in October 2012, Enda Kenny featured on Time’s front page along with the heading: ‘The Celtic Comeback‘.

Read: Enda Kenny is on the cover of TIME magazine this week

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Gráinne Ní Aodha


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