Leo finds his inner Olé and flies flag for Ireland


EURO 2012 fever has overcome Leo Varadkar. Who’d have thought it? We always understood Leo to be a keen cricket and rugby fan.

He’s fallen for the beautiful game now.

If truth be told, there was quite a deal of sniggering when Enda made Leo his Minister for Sport. People said he’d need a map and compass to find Croke Park and he’d have to set up a working group to understand the offside rule.

He was a stranger to the wisdom of Johnny Giles.

But that’s all changed. Leo has found his true sporting voice and it’s singing Óle.

According to his people in the department, the Minister is like an excited two-year-old this weekend.

Only five more sleeps until Thursday and then he flies out with his pals to Poland to see Ireland take on Spain in Danzig. Then he’s staying on for Monday’s game against Italy in Poznan.

Here’s the best bit (some of you may want to sit down): Leo Varadkar is paying his own way.

Bought his own plane tickets. Paying for his own accommodation.

Unlike deputy Mick Wallets, his fellow Joxer on the rocky road to Poland, Leo has to be back in Leinster House for work on Tuesday.

Wallets of Wexford, on the other hand, is a sole trader in the Dáil and therefore able to gad about as he pleases.

Ordinarily, we would be of the opinion that a few days away and a couple of football matches in Poland is more than enough fun for any Government Minister.

However, we are praying hard that Leo is forced to make another trip to the tournament.

“He has no plans to go out a second time, but if Ireland make it to the final he’ll have to look at the situation again,” says a departmental spokesman.

Mr Varadkar has his jersey, a big green foam hand and a large Irish Tricolour.

But he’s on the lookout for an inflatable hammer.

No shortage of spanners around him in Leinster House.

No hammers.