This morning/afternoon.

Phoenix Park, Dublin

Vice President of the United States of America, Mike Pence and his wife Karen meets Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett (right) at Farmleigh House where they will have lunch.

Earlier: And Add The Halfpence To The Pence

Sam Boal/RollingNews



This afternoon.

Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Sam Boal/RollingNews

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36 thoughts on “Welcoming Matt

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Unapologetic appearance comment: Second Lady has shed a lot of weight and Matt used all the sunblock on their holiers.

  2. Mr.Fart

    yer man Matt must be an awful sack to be goin out with varadkar, the most stuffy conservative gay man in ireland i’d bet.

  3. eoin

    Is Matt only wheeled out when Leo is meeting Pence? I’ve never seen Matt before when there are visiting dignitary couples, eg the Dutch BAM royal couple. I mean, fair play for rubbing the awful Pences’ noses in it, but I can’t imagine Boris would press-gang Carrie into a similar reception.

        1. some old queen

          I’d link except I am not allowed it appears. From Beacon Hospital- sounds like a complete push over alright.

          Matthew graduated from UCD school of medicine in 2009 and completed his MRCPI in 2011. After completing his clinical cardiology specialist registrar training in 2016, he went on to take a position as a UCD and RCPI lecturer in clinical cardiology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. During this time, he also practiced as a clinical heart failure registrar with the St. Vincent’s Hospital Group as well as taking a clinical liaison role with a medical technology firm developing implantable devices for use in advanced heart failure management.

          Subsequent to completing his lecturer role, Matthew subsequently undertook an advanced cardiovascular imaging fellowship in Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, with a focus on cardiovascular MRI and CT, involving research into image optimisation and heart failure assessment.

          During his cardiology specialist training, Matthew has also completed postgraduate certification in Healthcare Management (UCD Smurfit) and Clinical and Translational Research (UCD). He is currently completing a Masters degree focusing on fluid volume monitoring in heart failure patients.

          Special interests include advanced cardiac imaging, heart failure management, medical devices/technology and multimodality assessment of fluid status in heart failure.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Noticed that alright. Looks like Varadkar is using Matt. Not good enough to meet other dignatories, but good enough as a stick to beat Pence with.

  4. paul

    I’ve read before that Pence doesn’t mind gay people at all. He’s of the firm belief that “ah sure, don’t they have a curable illness.”

    He’s looking more and more like an ageing Race Bannon from Johnny Quest every time I see him.

    1. some old queen

      I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he attempts to tell a couple of gay doctors that they have a curable illness.

  5. White Dove

    In an Ireland where most partners don’t attend work events (often not because of choice, but because they have to work to fund exorbitant rents), is it really appropriate for politicians to be photographed with their partners? Shouldn’t we be focusing on the job done rather than the person and their personal life?

    Or am I being a cruel meanie?

    1. missred

      In this case, this visit was one Leo made when himself and Matt were invited to the White House as a couple, so they are formally returning the favour.

      1. White Dove

        Firstly, your answer presupposes that some etiquette rule made up by an aul one in 1920s England should dictate how our Taoisigh conduct official business.

        Secondly, even if the above is accepted, it still begs the question: should Matt have attended the White House with Leo in the first place, given that, as stated in my initial comment above, most Irish partners aren’t in a position to attend work events with spouses.

        We didn’t elect Matt, not even as a partner, because he wasn’t publicised as going out with Leo at the time of the last election. Why should he be there?

        1. some old queen

          Many politicians attend many events with their partners- some do not- would you be having this conversation if Leo’s partner was female I wonder?

          1. White Dove


            We’ve had the etiquette defence and now the anti-discrimination defence.

            I don’t want to see any partners – male, female, gay, straight, doctors, nurses, saints or sinners – photographed at these events full stop.

            Just like I don’t want unnecessary photo-ops.

            I want the job done, homeless housed, kids educated, sick people looked after and I want to know that we are all valued equally and there are no hierarchies, no spin, no fal fals, just politicians doing the jobs they are paid for.

            Thanks for stereotyping me. Would you be replying to my comment in these terms if Leo’s partner was a woman?

          2. some old queen

            I cannot recollect ever seeing a case of recent times where two dignitaries had a photo op and it was a couple and a single- it is usually always either 2 or 4 and that is planned in advance. So credit to Pence because he agreed to Matt being in attendance if that is the case.

            Given that Matt has attended public engagements before, Leo would have come under criticism and accusations of hiding Matt away because Pence has voiced some pretty extreme homophobic views- Leo was dammed if he did and dammed if he didn’t.

            Oh and if you object to partners full stop then you are most definitely swimming against the tide- people are nosy- more so now than ever.

      1. White Dove

        That’s the point!

        Why not invite an ordinary Irish citizen to be the Taoiseach’s a plus one for these events?

        Perhaps in recognition of community work? Organisations could be asked to nominate

  6. White Dove

    Also, I’m not even sure you’re right as a matter of etiquette.

    If I visit someone with my boyfriend as a plus one, do I have to be there when he invites them back? Not even if it’s my house, and that’s my point – it isn’t Matt’s.

    We need to be less accepting of these things and encourage our politicians to focus on work rather than their personal relationships.

  7. class wario

    it’s not like Pence and co burn away to dust when they see gay people. They are politicians and thus well versed in keeping up pleasant facades while stabbing people in the back. I almost think all this posturing from Varadkar does nothing but ‘pinkwash’ Pence: it’s an easy PR win for him really.

      1. martco

        well who knows about all that, you would hope so but when it comes down to money after all is said & done everything counts in large amounts doesn’t it @SOQ?

        but regards this mistake itself it’s dreadful optics! utter incompetence for our “leader” to indulge, literally facilitate Pence in this clear & firm Brexit torpedo. a total utter shafting that can’t be explained away. he’s a white pvc window salesman in a shiny suit living on borrowed time.

        roll on 10pm, now we’ll get to see the whites of their lying Tory eyes…and very nice to see Bercow back!

        1. some old queen

          Dum de dum- stew in their own juice next it appears.

          Not a fan of fox hunting but Tory hunting is a great alternative.

          I’d post a song about it being a long tome coming but I’m not allowed to post links it appears.

  8. eoin

    With respect to the update above and Pence siding with the Brits against the EU, maybe time to make Shannon Airport a hostile environment for the permanent US military attache, maybe cut off the leccy, remove the door to the office at the hinges, or more practically, invite RTE down to report on the facilities and maybe build up a bit of a backlash. Cheeky Pence, if he wants to side with the Brits against Ireland, the US military can stay in the skies for another 30 mins and land in Britain.

    1. Johnny Green

      hi eoin-WH transcript …

      “And on a subject much on our minds and much a subject of discussion today, let me be clear: The United States supports the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union in Brexit, but we also recognize the unique challenges on your northern border. And I can assure you we will continue to encourage the United Kingdom and Ireland to ensure that any Brexit deal respects the Good Friday Agreement.

      But as the deadline for Brexit approaches, we urge Ireland and the European Union, as well, to negotiate in good faith with Prime Minister Johnson and work to reach an agreement that respects the United Kingdom’s sovereignty and minimizes disruption to commerce. And the United States will look to play whatever helpful role we can play among our friends in achieving that objective.”

      when size matters:)

      -U.S. goods and services trade with United Kingdom totaled an estimated $261.9 billion in 2018. Exports were $140.4 billion; imports were $121.5 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with United Kingdom was $18.9 billion in 2018.-

      -U.S. goods and services trade with the EU totaled nearly $1.3 trillion in 2018. Exports totaled $575 billion; Imports totaled $684 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with the EU was $109 billion in 2018-

  9. Truth in the News

    Pence got his two pence worth in this evening, when he announced in Doonbeg that
    he went to the Bog and Cut Turf in the 80’s one wonders is this one of the Bogs
    that Micheal D neutralised when he was a Minister, and never told anyone about
    it until it was all sanctioned by Brussells, one wonders did Higgins when he was
    swanning about UCG ever spend a day in the Bog, maybe he was too occupied
    reading Zen and the Motorbike……Maybe Pence and Higgins might spend a day
    in the Bog.

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