Debates in the wake of election in Ireland went too far


Ireland’s gay now resigned Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appeared on Virgin Media’s Big Debate facing off against Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Veteran broadcaster Pat Kenny took a break from asking the two party leaders policy-related questions and instead asked them whether they experimented with forbidden substances. The host insisted on the answer being honest. “No, I never have,” Martin replied. Varadkar, in his best deer-in-the-headlights routine, responded: “You know, I answered that question in a Hot Press interview about 12 or 13 years ago and I answered the truth.” The PM was pressed twice to remind the audience what the answer was, and it was ’yes’. Varadkar was quick to explain that it was when he was very young, decades ago. Others just had to laugh at Varadkar’s terrified facial expression as he weighed up how best to answer the question. When asked if he had smoked cannabis, the Fine Gael politician responded: “I did a bit in my college years, yeah. But I wouldn’t be advocating that anybody else do the same – particularly being more aware now of the evidence linking cannabis smoking to schizophrenia.”


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