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COMMENT: Taoiseach's music taste lands him in trouble

Monday, 15th April, 2019 7:59am

Story by Tony McCullagh
COMMENT: Taoiseach's music taste lands him in trouble

Our Taoiseach is a big fan of pop superstar Kylie Minogue. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

COMMENT: Taoiseach's music taste lands him in trouble

Our Taoiseach is a big fan of pop superstar Kylie Minogue. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

THE over-the-top reaction to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s overture to Kylie Minogue has finally started to dissipate after weeks of mock outrage and the inevitable feeding frenzy on social media. So now seems to be good a time as any for your humble columnist to wade into the debate.

Let’s first recap: Leo was under fire for writing to the Aussie pop princess on headed Government notepaper, offering to personally welcome her to Dublin ahead of her 3Arena performance last year. In the brief, handwritten note, the Taoiseach professed to being a fan. Not only that, Kylie was going to be staying at the Merrion Hotel, just a short nip across the road from his office in Government Buildings. Handy or what?

In the end, Kylie’s gig was postponed and it would be a few months before her famous Irish fan would get to meet her at the rescheduled concert. Even then, our beleaguered leader couldn’t catch a break and was forced to deny that he had been treated to a free meal at the event.

Leo’s fan mail to Kylie may have gained less traction had his department not initially tried to block its release after a pesky newspaper sought a copy of it under a Freedom of Information request. That’s why writing it on official Government stationery was possibly not the best idea he’s ever had. The Taoiseach, of course, is perfectly entitled to a personal life and if the man has a devotion to a former soap star, then let him at it – unless, of course, it’s done in our name. And it could be argued that sending Kylie a note on official Government notepaper kind of does just that.

Predictably, some of his critics wondered aloud why Leo wasn’t concentrating on more pressing matters our country is facing, such as multiple health scandals and the homelessness crisis. And what about Brexit? How could he possibly have time to meet the global superstar in the face of such political Armageddon?

In truth, the Kylie saga provided some light relief from the depressing Brexit debacle. Ultimately, the Taoiseach will be judged on more important issues – and he’ll soon have a chance to take the electorate’s temperature when the results of the European and Local Elections are known next month.

In terms of the ‘Kyliegate’ controversy, if Leo’s guilty of anything, it’s simply of the lesser charge of having questionable music taste. Each to their own, I suppose.

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