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Taoiseach defends tweeting about Princess Diana on same day two homeless people died

Varadkar was speaking in an interview with TV3 News.
Sep 6th 2017, 5:53 PM 30,499 106

0290 Taoiseach Stanhope Street school_90521989 Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said that the government “needs to do more in this space” after the death of three homeless people in Ireland last week.

Speaking to Gavan Reilly on TV3 News, the Taoiseach was asked about homelessness, water charges and the garda commissioner.

He defended sending out a tweet about the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on the day that two homeless people died – one in Dublin, and the other in Kildare. He said that what someone tweets out is not reflective of their responsibilities.

“Each one was an individual death with individual circumstances,” he said. “It had been the case in some homelessness deaths that people didn’t seek accommodation on the night… That can be a complex issue.

I think most reasonable people – anyone on Twitter – understands what you may tweet out about is not necessarily a reflection of your responsibilities.

On the issue of water charges refunds, the Taoiseach said: “My party did make the case that it would be better to fund water through water charges, and we would have that €250 million to spend on other things.”

He said he would ask those who opposed water charges “tough questions” if they now asked him to invest this same money in areas such as health and infrastructure.

Varadkar also reiterated his confidence in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, in the wake of the latest information on bogus breath tests.

“The government has confidence in the garda commissioner and that remains the case,” he said.

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He said that it was the government’s view that what happened in relation to breath tests “is entirely unacceptable”.

“You would never see a school principal falsifying roll numbers or a surgeon in the health service claiming to have treated more patients,” he added.

Read: Fresh calls for Garda Commissioner to step down after latest revelations about false breath tests

Read: Confirmed: Irish Water to refund water charges to customers by Christmas

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