There he sat, the young buck with his odd socks.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, a big Star Wars fan, was marking ‘May the 4th Be With You’ day was sporting ill matching socks of the massive space fantasy franchise to highlight he is a fan.
Like Luke Skywalker, he sat beside our veteran leader Enda Kenny who isn’t quite an Obi-Wan Kenobi.
With the race to succeed him hotting up, to some Kenny is more of a Jar Jar Binks figure who just can’t go soon enough.
Trudeau and his ‘fashion forward socks’ (as we were advised to call them by our fabulous Canadian media liaison Kim Cross) too appear to be fans of Enda.
Trudeau paid tribute to Enda’s leadership of Ireland during some difficult days and while it was the Taoiseach’s first trip to Canada, it is significant as it is expected to be his last significant trip before departing office.
“What a pleasure it is to welcome the Taoiseach to Montreal,” the dishy Canadian leader said at the outset.
The two posed for photographs and Enda joked about the prime minister’s ‘good handshake’, a reference to his famous meeting with the Donald and their robust embrace. Trudeau’s good looks have made a global impact and there he sat almost purring at some female reporters and winking at others.
At a major business lunch, the socks continued to dominate the agenda. Three minutes into Enda’s speech up on the podium, Trudeau took to Twitter and posted this message: “These are the socks you’re looking for. #MayTheFourthBeWithYou.”
Obviously for Enda, his timescale for exit was exercising minds most.
Will he, won’t he go next week.
In his speech, he was talking about politics becoming disconnected from the people and he added that what people wanted from their leaders was “clarity and certainty”.
So when we got to the press conference with the two leaders, and poor Enda was not best pleased to be asked about when he is likely to go.
I was designated to ask the question on behalf of the Irish media about his departure and he lashed back.
“I can’t believe actually that you have travelled this distance to ask a question like that. I have come here to meet with the Canadian Prime Minister and Canadian business to explore the opportunities that exist across the Atlantic for the creation of jobs and investment and to the benefit of Canadians and Irish people. That is my business here. Next question,” was the fierce response.
Kenny left Montreal for Toronto where he was guest of honour at an Enterprise Ireland dinner but the pesky media were not invited.
Ultimately, as much as he doesn’t want to admit it, he will have to face many more questions like that until he names the date.
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