‘It Is Appropriate To Respect The Rules’

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (centre) visits the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, Axum, Ethiopia in last  Friday

“Like many churches, convents, temples and mosques, they have rules about who may enter and how they should dress…It is appropriate to respect the rules and customs of different cultures and religions especially when you are in their countries, holy places or homes….”

A spokesman for the Taoiseach on his visit to a male-only church in Ethiopia

Taoiseach forced to leave high ranking female officials to visit monastery in Ethiopia (Independent.ie)

32 thoughts on “‘It Is Appropriate To Respect The Rules’

  1. Tom

    Come on, whats he meant to do here? We have to be diplomatic when visiting other less advanced countries. You can’t barge in and demand they do things the western way.

  2. Rob_G

    Silly “controversy” – if he was visiting Japan and was asked to remove his shoes, should he have shouted: “Up the ‘RA!”, and barged in anyway?

  3. Starina

    Totally appropriate. I cover my shoulders and legs when visiting mosques and the Vatican. It’s local tradition. If he was going to a FGM ceremony that’d be one thing but this angle is just Euro-centric colonial claptrap.

    1. realPolithicks

      The simple answer is that HE should not have gone to the event at all and it should not have been scheduled as a visit.

    1. newsjustin

      “No thank you Mr Mayor. I wouldn’t like to see this piece of your local culture that you’re so proud of you show off to visiting dignatories. Your local rules and customs are repugnant to me.”

  4. Nullzero

    To he fair its probably not the only male only establishment he’s ever been in. Backwards country in no equal rights for women shocker.

    1. newsjustin

      This is a particular monastery church in Ethiopia. Not the whole of Ethiopia. The monastery decides who comes and goes.

      There were until very recently (still are?) golf clubs in Ireland who don’t allow female members. And aren’t there women only gyms?

  5. phil

    Ireland’s Ambassador to Ethiopia is Sonja Hyland, a woman, by the logic above , should the Taoiseach have appointed a man to that position to respect Ethiopias ‘culture’ ?

  6. Yep

    Just gotta respect it. Sure if he goes to Pakistan and is invited to an arranged marriage of a 14 yr old and middle aged man sure who are we to judge? Gotta respect it like…

  7. Dub Spot

    Our Lady Mary of Zion, Axum – good replacement name for that Drogheda established where Neary “performed”

  8. Eoin

    “Taoiseach tours church that bans females…as our envoy and other senior officials told to stand and wait for him” reported the Mail in its front page headline yesterday.

    “our envoy”?

    What respected diplomat did the Mail (of all papers) have in Ethiopia? At least he was the equal of “senior officials” though? Who could it be?

    Step forward Senan Molony, the Mail’s wonky-eyed (male) political hack who’s as much an “envoy” as the cat.

  9. Termagant

    It would be more appropriate to have nothing to do with them. Why are we going on diplomatic missions to a country where it’s illegal for Leo to kiss his husband?

    1. Rob_G

      If we only had diplomatic relations with countries that shared the exact same values as we did, we would be living in a very isolated and polarised world – if you follow that logic to its logical conclusion, Ireland would have had no diplomatic relations with any other country in the EU (apart from Malta) due to our restrictive abortion regime.

    2. postmanpat

      You don’t understand , he is trading for rare meteorites for us to use just incase Superman goes bad. A bit of appeasement goes a long way..

    3. Lilly

      AFAIK Leo’s not married. So no husband. Would they have let him in had they known he was gay? Isn’t homosexuality illegal in Ethiopia.

  10. Spaghetti Hoop

    Heeding local customs is what you do on an official visit.
    Nothing stopping Leo from commenting on the inequality of this though, if he felt strongly about it..
    Think of our visiting dignatories over the years – they didn’t complain when we forced pints of stout upon them, and were given free reign to comment and criticise us on our much-publicised social and political problems. US presidents were even given Dail time. Given our shocking record in the treatment of women and children in state care, I don’t think we are the moral authority here.

  11. Ron

    His lack of experience really shines through with this latest gaffe. don’t know why anybody expects anything but ineptitude from him. I mean it’s not like he didn’t have a probation period with his previous Ministerial roles… He was inept and incapable during all previous posts. Past behaviour being a good indicator of future behaviour all that.. It’s like a weekly blog on how to be inept all t the time. It’s the only thing he has been consistent on so I guess that’s a positive. He can learn

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