Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar


You can’t say they don’t earn their money.


Stop laughing.

This morning.

Beech Hill Terrace, Dublin 4

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar turn the sod on social housing units which are being developed by the Royal Hospital’s Voluntary Housing Association, and hopes to have 130 housing units on site by 2019.

At least some people are having FUN.




This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

During leader’s questions concerning the five million plus-state funded Strategic Communications Unit.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“I said the unit would be cost neutral, I never said it would cost nothing. Obviously any unit that has employees and is involved in information campaigns, of course will cost something. I said it would be cost neutral and if you look in the Budget book, at the Department of An Taoiseach’s vote you’ll see my overall vote, the overall budget for my department is down, it’s down about a billion and that’s detailed line by line as to where, as to where the savings are made in each section.

“In terms of what’s going to happen with the former GIS [Government Information Service], former Merrion Street GIS function will be integrated in the new structure while the Government press office will continue to operate as before dealing with day-to-day media queries, under the direction of the Government press secretary.”

Following this Labour leader Brendan Howlin again raised his concerns over the “move into political paid advertising” and the fact that political advertising that promotes interest of political parties in Government “cannot be paid for by the public purse”.

In addition Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams And Fianna Fail’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath asked Mr Varadkar to explain “cost neutral”.

Mr Varadkar replied:

“I can assure deputies that there won’t be any political advertising, there won’t be any promotional political parties and the civil servants and public sector code in that regard will continue to apply. In relation to the costings, I don’t think I can explain it any better.

“Cost neutral is not the same as cost nothing. The money is being found from within my department and will in fact my department’s budget is being reduced.

“I actually think over time this will save money. It certainly did in other jurisdictions when you just look at the plethora across Government departments and Government agencies of different logos, different communication functions, different websites, different press functions, you name it.

“I think any rational person will see that if you co-ordinate all that, to put it together over a time, you’ll actually save a substantial amounts of money for the taxpayer.

“In terms of political advisors, political advisors are employees of the department. It is the norm that political advisors engage with civil servants all the time and continue to do so but, certainly, there’ll be no engagement with party officials or party press officers.”


Previously: The Good News Unit

This afternoon.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar dismisses criticism of  his spin unit (costing five million plus) during leader’s questions in the Dáil.

Previously: The Good News Unit





The Guardian reports:

Jordi Turull, the Catalan regional government spokesman, told reporters early on Monday morning that 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted Sunday chose yes.

He said nearly 8% of voters rejected independence and the rest of the ballots were blank or void. He said 15,000 votes were still being counted. The region has 5.3 million registered voters.

Catalan referendum: preliminary results show 90% in favour of independence (The Guardian)

Earlier: I Am A Catalan



This afternoon.

National Ploughing Championship, Screggan, Tullamore, County Offaly

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan join National Ploughing director Annie May McHugh (in red) on the third day of the championship.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews


Nothing is that funny.

Or is it?

We may never know.

Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar TD at the 2017 Fine Gael Autumn Think- In in Clonmel , County Tipperary this morning

This morning.

At the Fine Gael think-in, Clonmel, County Tipperary

“This ambition to build the Republic of Opportunity is in many ways the modern iteration of the Just Society.  It combines the best ideas from the right with the best ideas from the left.  It is the politics of the new centre.

It is also the politics of progress and change.  So, when we say the centre must hold, we do not mean that things should stay the same. 

We mean that we will lead change not from the extremes but from the centre.  Giving people, families and businesses the certainty with which they can plan for the future.  


….Where we have scope in the budget, it will be used to reward work and enterprise, and will benefit those on middle incomes who pay the highest rates of tax on far too modest incomes. 

We will back business, farmers and enterprise

High taxes on the middle classes are a barrier to opportunity and to work. They are a cap on aspiration and there should be no cap on aspiration in the Republic we wish to build…”

“…You can tell a lot about a society by how it treats its most vulnerable. We have provided medical cards to all children with severe disability irrespective of their parents’ income, because we know they will need more regular access to health care, and parents shouldn’t have to worry about the costs.

And every working day, we provide housing for 80 individuals and families. There are 20,000 new tenancies a year because we believe everyone should have a home.

So when people mention style, I think of all that substance.

The Republic of Opportunity is not a slogan or empty PR. It is a way of thinking about how to improve people’s lives and we’re only getting started…”

“…Some political parties – especially those on the left – believe in a culture of dependency and victimhood. They like it when people are down and dependent. They want the system to fail so they can build influence and support.

Fine Gael will never talk down to people. We will always try to offer people a way up and way forward.

Committing to build a Republic of Opportunity means that we are proud of our ambition to create a culture of aspiration. Where people are encouraged to be the best they can possibly be. Encouraged to reach their potential and to make a better life for themselves and their children.

That is why I joined Fine Gael, and I’m sure why you did too.

For me, Fine Gael is not and has never been a party of privilege.

We are the party of aspiration.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar


Full text here


Census 2016 figures and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy

You may recall the Census 2016 figures which showed 183, 312 vacant houses in Ireland – excluding vacant holiday homes.

And yesterday’s figures showing 8,160 people were registered as homeless in the last week of July.

Further to this…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke to journalists following the emergency housing summit in Custom House this morning.

While speaking to them, Mr Varadkar raised the subject of vacant houses.

He said:

On the vacant house tax, that is something that’s under consideration but, again, a very interesting discussion with the Chief Executives today if you take for example Fingal or Galway where they’ve actually gone out to the individual houses to see how many are vacant while the CSO may say there’s a certain number and geocodes say there’s another number, when the council staff have actually gone out to the houses and apartments and knocked on doors, they’ve found that the numbers that are really vacant are actually much smaller than any of the figures show.”

Pic: Michael Lehane

Earlier: When Anthony Met The Housing Minister


Previously: ‘They’re Loud And They’re Growing’

Populist Chancer Cheats Us All