A vanity exercise? No way, says Leo.

Sweating in 30-plusºC heat in the blazing sun in New York, a fully suited Mr Varadkar was feeling the heat.

It is fair to say Ireland gaining a seat on the UN Security Council matters little at all to the general public at home, but golly, it has gotten these diplomats very excited.

Our top people are on it. A two-year campaign with its own fancy logo and crack team in New York to help it succeed. We only go for this once every 20 years, so it is a big deal, we are led to believe. Ireland is up against Norway and Canada in what is being referred to as a “group of death”.

So important a project for Ireland is this that the Government put out a call to their showbiz pals in U2 for help.

The call was answered.

The band gifted several hundred tickets to their sold-out show at Madison Square Garden to allow Ireland invite all 190-plus UN ambassadors to the gig, along with a delegation from the Government and the Irish media.

Of those 193 invitees, fully 153 turned up and had a jolly old time.

And then, more than that, Bono, the country’s high moral priest, gave our openly hip Taoiseach and his wingman, solid Simon Coveney a shout out from the stage.

We’re very pleased to say that 20 years since that summer, we have peace on the island of Ireland and a lot of Americans helped us get there so thank you,” he said.

“And I am proud to say this evening we have with us our leader, our prime minister, our Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and our second-in-command and foreign minister, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, is here tonight.

“We are proud of our island of Ireland. They work very hard to protect our borderless island

“Are we up for a borderless island here?”

He also gave a shout out to former president Mary Robinson “who worked tirelessly for peace on the island of Ireland. She then came to New York and kicked ass at the United Nations and we love her.”

The people cheered and Leo, who was joined by his partner Matt, left happy.

Yesterday, came the business end of why we are all in New York.

Bono, yes him again, and Mrs Robinson were on hand last night to help Leo and Simon do the business. All smiles, everybody happy, best foot forward.

But why are we doing this, Taoiseach? Is this not a huge waste of time when other issues, such as Brexit, need attention? Is this not a vanity exercise?

Tut tut. Those pesky media asking their awkward questions.

“The UN is an important place where important decisions are made. So there is no vanity here, this is serious stuff,” he said defiantly.

Not sure we are buying it.

More on this topic

Fergus Finlay: From government formation talks to Croke Park, time to look ahead...Fergus Finlay: From government formation talks to Croke Park, time to look ahead...

Leo Varadkar pledges 25,000 homes to be built in 2020Leo Varadkar pledges 25,000 homes to be built in 2020

Leo's Brexit warning: 'The harder approach being taken by Boris Johnson is a risk to us'Leo's Brexit warning: 'The harder approach being taken by Boris Johnson is a risk to us'

Taoiseach used Government jet to travel to EPP eventTaoiseach used Government jet to travel to EPP event


Lifestyle

SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner