Taoiseach not keen to be associated with Conor McGregor’s ‘actions’

Leo Varadkar was accused of snubbing MMA fighter after both marched in Chicago parade

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he would not like to be associated with the unlawful actions of Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

The two marched in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago at the same time last week and the Fine Gael leader was accused of snubbing the athelete by moving away upon noticing that he was there.

When asked about the incident on Saturday, Mr Varadkar denied that he avoided the mixed martial artist.

“I was happy to walk in the parade in Chicago, I wasn’t specifically walking with him,” he told reporters at Fine Gael’s national conference in Wexford.

“As I understand, he was there promoting his whiskey. I was there at the parade at the invitation of organisers representing the country. Conor McGregor was there, I believe, at the invitation of the Plumbers Union.

“Obviously he’s had some trouble with the law in recent months, and I wouldn’t condone or like to be associated with the kind of actions he’s been involved in, which include prosecution in New York and a potential prosecution in Florida.”

Phone

McGregor was arrested and charged with robbery in Miami earlier this month after allegedly stamping on a fan’s mobile phone. He was filmed in Brooklyn last April throwing a steel dolly through the window of a bus which had a number of UFC staff and fighters on board. A number of people were injured in the incident.

The fighter reached a plea agreement with the District Attorney. He originally faced a possible 12 criminal charges, including two counts of criminal mischief. His plea agreement included paying full restitution to the bus company for damages, completing five days of community service and attending an anger management programme.

Separately, the Taoiseach said he had not yet made any definitive decision on whether to reshuffle of his Cabinet this summer.

Earlier on Saturday, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe indicated that there will not be a general election this year as he has already started work on the budget.

“The good news is I am already working on Budget 2020 because I have to bring a stability programme update to Government in the next few weeks which will be laying out how we think the economy is going to perform next year and I believe I will be presenting Budget 2020 to the House in October and I think there is every chance we will get it passed,” he said. (Additional reporting - PA)