New records released by the Dept of the Taoiseach under the Freedom Of Information Act show that Mr Varadkar received 530 emails in the hours after his St Patrick's Day address to the nation on the Covid-19 pandemic, and the following two days.
The records show that 106 emails were sent on the night of the speech and followed up with 268 emails on March 18 and 156 on March 19.
A record breaking 1.6 million watched the St Patrick's Day broadcast. A memo to Government has since warned that the next phase of the Coronavirus crisis has the potential to be "far more divisive”.
However, copies of the first 100 emails sent to the Taoiseach after his St Patrick’s Day address released show that the vast majority of the emails are laudatory as the country braced itself for a number of weeks lockdown in response to Covid 19.
One person who emailed at 9.26pm on St Patrick’s night wrote to Mr Varadkar with the subject line ‘Statemanship’.
The emailer wrote: “Dear Taoiseach, What a powerful St Patrick’s Day message to our nation. Such calm words of comfort and restraint. Sent shivers down by spine reminding me of Churchill declaring war on Germany. We as a nation will work together to fight this virus.”
The laudatory theme continued with another emailer writing to say: “Hi Leo, your speech tonight was absolutely superb. Well done. It made me proud to be Irish and brought a tear to my eye.
“You are playing an absolute blinder leading us through this crisis. Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance. You have my eternal gratitude and admiration.”
Not all emails were complimentary. One businessman wrote: “Further to your ‘We are in this together’ statement, we are not in this together - you still (have) your €250,000 salary, expenses, driver and car. Your Ministers get their €200k salaries, drivers and cars as do the senior civil servants. And let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of other State employees who will continue to get their salaries.”
Another unhappy with the speech wrote to “express my deepest disappointment in your announcement this evening”.
She told Mr Varadkar: “I feel that you have let the country down this evening in terms of using your national platform to give nothing other than what we already know to the people.
“You continue to speak of flattening the curve, but how is that possible when people continue to go out and about?”
'Proud to be Irish'
Another emailer wrote to the Taoiseach at 9.35pm on the night to write “I have always felt so proud to be Irish, but tonight that pride went to new heights while listening to your speech.”
The emailer stated: “You were certain and assured and instilled a sense of calm and order. Your words were so carefully chosen to rally us and inspire each other in this challenging time here in Ireland.
“Thank you for your leadership, intelligent understanding of this frightening situation and for your compassion for humanity.”
Another wrote to state:
Leo, thank you for your calm reassurance, passion and professionalism in tonight’s St Patrick’s Day address. You are a leader of this country can be proud of - please continue to do your level best to guide our wonderful country along the treacherous path ahead.
“I also want to applaud the efforts of Simon Coveney and Simon Harris who are both doing amazing work in their respective departments.”
Another was short and succinct ‘Well done, that was some speech’.