Alan Dukes says Taoiseach should close his Twitter account

Former Fine Gael leader says handling of Strategic Communications Unit ‘hamfisted’

Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has advised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to close his Twitter account. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has advised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to close his Twitter account. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has advised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to close his Twitter account.

“Politicians should stay off twitter because they make fools of themselves on it, up to and including President Trump, ’’ he said.

Mr Dukes was speaking on the RTE Radio programme Saturday with Cormac Ó hEadhra.

He was responding to a tweet issued on Saturday by Mr Varadkar, which was an obvious response to the mounting criticism of the Strategic Communications Unit set up when he became Taoiseach.

“While packing for US trip I got thinking about all the talk about spin versus substance, so here is what the Government and I did this week,’’ it read.

Mr Varadkar went on to list a series of achievements.

Mr Dukes said that while it was probably a good idea to set up the unit, the execution of it was “absolutely hamfisted’’.

“And I think they let the smart alecs get away with running it, which is a very bad thing,’’ he added.

He said he would include politicians and their hired advisers among the “smart alecs”.

Former Labour leader Joan Burton, who shares the same Dublin West constituency with Mr Varadkar, and also a guest on the programme, said the Taoiseach sounded “peevish’’ in his tweet.