Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

Seems credible.

Or is it?

Hmm.

Real fan or twisted copy and paster?

Only YOU can decide.

Earlier: Punkin’ Instigator

THis morning.

UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4

Taoiseach and Leo Varadkar and Tanaiste Simon Coveney launch Ireland’s new ‘Policy for International Development, A Better World’.

This will ‘provide the framework for Ireland’s expanding development cooperation programme, in line with the Government’s commitment to reaching the UN target of allocating 0.7% of our GNI to official development assistance by 2030′.

FIGHT!

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right) with David McCourt, who is leading the consortium that is the only bidder for the National Broadband Plan at Science Foundation event in new York in 2016

Hmm.

Previously: ‘An All-Too Familiar Vista In Major Communications Contracts’

This morning.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (pic 1) and  Leader of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin (pic 2) address the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit watched by Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald  with Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill MLA. It follows another Parliamentary defeat for UK Prime Minister Teresa May last night.

Mr Varadkar said:

“One of the most striking things about what’s unfolded since the UK’s decision to leave has been the remarkable solidarity from the EU side, despite many attempts to bilateralise issues.

The solidarity has been strong and resolute and those who think it will break at the last moment are in for a nasty surprise”.

Hmm.

Taoiseach says Brexit extension possible but not inevitable (RTÉ)

Sam Boal /RollingNews

This morning.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addresses the European Financial Forum.

Meanwhile

Everyone’s a critic.

From left:  Minister for Health Simon Harris, Vice-President Andrew McDowell of the European Investment Bank, the President of the EIB, Mr Werner Hoyer, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe , and  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar look at a model before the signing of documents for the European Investment Bank (EIB) loan for the new Childrens’ Hospital in December, 2017

“We have a real concern that some companies have been low-balling, coming in with very low tender prices to get the contract and then coming back with claims thereafter,” Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil in answer to Opposition questions about the children’s hospital costs.

“There are one or two contractors who, quite frankly, I would not like to see get a public contract again in this State,” Mr Varadkar added.

Later, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe declined to say if the Government believed this had happened with the hospital contract.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on that because a decision has now been made on the tender and who is doing the work,” he said.

State to examine if unrealistically low bids submitted to win contracts (irish Times)

Yesterday: The Eye Of Soaring

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is shown where to stand by European Council President Donald Tusk before their meeting at the Europa building in Brussels, Belgium this morning.

This morning.

Brussels, Belgium.

Tusk, speaking at a joint news conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar after their talks in Brussels, reiterated the European Union’s stance that the Irish border backstop in the withdrawal agreement had to stay.

I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely,” Tusk said.

Varadkar said the Brexit deal, which has since been rejected by the UK parliament, was “the best possible”. He said Britain’s recent political instability was yet another proof of why the backstop was needed.

EU won’t re-open Brexit deal, hopes May will have new proposals: EU’s Tusk (Reuters)

Tusk says ‘special place in hell’ for Brexiteers who didn’t have plan (RTÉ)

Pic: Reuters

Meanwhile…

Double buckle?

Fancy.

Meanwhile

Yikes.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil this afternoon

This afternoon in the Dáil.

The Taoiseach said the following about the €450,000 PwC report which is expected to examine how and why the cost of the National Children’s Hospital has ballooned:

“The terms of reference for the review by PwC into the escalation of costs, that they are being revised at present. But the review will deal with accountability of relevant key parties, functions and roles. The prohibition against making findings against individuals will be removed.

“It will establish he sequence of events in relation to the cost increases experienced by the project; establish what was known; when and by whom; and will cover bodies including the NBH, [inaudible], committees, HSE and also the Department of Health.

“And it will also be asked to identify any areas where potential cost savings or reductions, which are consistent with the applicable contractual undertakings, may be found.”

Previously: Well Warned

Watch Dáil proceedings live here

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions which were answered by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar…

Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin raised the nurses’ strike and claimed there was “absence of substantive and meaningful engagement from the Government’s side” in terms of resolving the issues.

It followed the issuing of a press release by the Government last night in which Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said they were willing to engage in talks “on the range of workplace-related issues other than pay to try to resolve the dispute”.

Mr Martin added:

“I put it to you Taoiseach that last night’s initiative, at the 11th hour, of the proposals that emanated from Minister [Paschal] Donohoe and Minister [Simon] Harris have only served to compound the problem, make it worse and escalate it.

“Because it concerns staff shortages, undergrad education, future nursing needs and so on. But it was sent out via press release, without any engagement with the INMO or the other unions.

The INMO has said and director described it as ‘the most cynical move I’ve seen in a long time’ and the unions have rejected it as Government spin. And that it was massively disrespectful to the nurses and to patients.

“Now, Taoiseach, I would put it to you that we cannot solve, you  cannot solve industrial relation disputes by such cynical PR manoeuvres. That kind of ‘optics are more important that substance’ approach won’t cut it when it comes to an industrial dispute of this gravity and scale.

“What is required Taoiseach are meaningful steps to be taken. Substance must replace spin in relation to the resolution of this dispute.”

Mr Martin went on to suggest that well-known mediator Kieran Mulvey should be engaged to help with resolving the matters.

During his response, Mr Varadkar said:

I appreciate that the nursing union felt that the offer to engage in further talks at the WRC was discourteous as they heard it through a press release rather than through a letter or direct contact.

“And we’ll make sure that doesn’t recur.

At the same time though, we shouldn’t forget that tens of thousands of people found out through the media that their respite was being cancelled this week too. That their day care was being cancelled too. So I think we need to bear that in mind as well.”

Watch Dáil proceedings live here

From top: Irish nurses and supporters in Sydney, Australia; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil this afternoon

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions.

Party leaders raised the nurses’ strike with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Mr Varadkar repeated much of what he said yesterday – that he believes borrowing money for pay increases is bad policy and that if one of group of State employees receives a pay increase, other groups will seek the same.

The 24-hour strike – the first in a series – began at 8am this morning while supporters of the strike have been using the hashtags #giveusareasontocomehome and #istandwithnursesandmidwives on Twitter.

Further to this…the following is one short exchange Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald had with the Taoiseach:

Leo Varadkar: “The impression created by some that there are more nurses leaving the country that coming into the country is not correct. The impression created by some that there are more nurses leaving the public service that entering it is not correct. And those are the facts and I hope you at least acknowledge those facts.

Mary Lou McDonald: “So, Taoiseach, then are the pictures of our young nurses from Melbourne and Sydney and all around the globe asking us, asking you to give them a reason to come home: is that like fake news? Are they doctored images? Pardon the pun.

“I don’t believe that they are. I think people know that yes, certain nursing staff would have gone for a year and come back but the reality now is that we’re losing so many of our best and brightest and they’re not coming back.”

“Here’s the other fact. There’s a strike on today. How’s that for a fact? Procedures have been cancelled as you’ve acknowledged. How’s that for a fact? Every man, woman and child in this land knows that should any of us get sick, or a loved one falls sick, you want the very best of care for them. All of us know that that’s only possible if you have the right  staff and you will only have the right staff if they are treated with dignity and they are paid and rewarded at an appropriate level. How are those  for facts, Taoiseach.

“What the nurses and midwives is very, very reasonable. And by the way, I know all about the industrial relations mechanisms of the State. You really don’t have to keep repeating that to us, as though we’re morons. We’re all well acquainted and well versed with all of that. I do not accept that you, as Taoiseach, that it is satisfactory or acceptable for you to passively sit on the sidelines whilst this strike is on.

“I’m asking you again on behalf of the nurses and midwives that I spoke to this morning, they said: tell him to engage. You are there Taoiseach, you’re the head of Government. They are asking you to engage. If you’re interested in sorting this dispute Taoiseach that this is what you will do and you will do it speedily.”

Varadkar: “Deputy, I don’t think you’re a moron. And I can assure you I’m not a moron either. But if you keep asking me the same question, I will keep giving you the same answer.”

Meanwhile…

Earlier: Alternatively

‘The Damage Is Already Done’

Calling Out Around The World