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Tag Archives: Varadkar

“I endeavoured to do what I could do about it,”-Varadkar under fire over Doonbeg call

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar is under intense political pressure today, after claiming he had sought to help Donald Trump prevent a windfarm being built near Doonbeg. At a lunch in Washington yesterday, he spoke about receiving a phone call from Mr Trump three or four years ago, at which time he was Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. In the call, Mr Varadkar said that the future President told him he had a problem near the golf course, where a wind farm was being proposed. Afterwards, Mr Varadkar said he tried to assist Mr Trump. “I endeavoured to do what I could do about it,” Mr Varadkar claimed. “I rang the County Council and enquired about the planning permission and subsequently the planning permission was declined and the windfarm was never built. Thus the landscape being preserved. The President has very kindly given me credit for that. Although I do think it probably would have been refused anyway. But I’m very …

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Kenny resigns as FG leader

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will retire as Fine Gael leader, with effect from midnight on Wednesday. The Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is the 2/5 favourite to succeed Mr Kenny as party leader, while one time favourite, Housing Minister Simon Coveney is the 7/4 second favourite. Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin is the current 1/2 favourite to be Taoiseach after the next General Election, with Leo Varadkar next at 9/4. In a statement following the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Kenny said, “Last year I indicated I would not lead the Fine Gael party into the next General Election. I will continue to carry out my duties as party leader in an acting capacity, until my successor is elected through the Fine Gael Leadership election process. After 15 years at the helm, including two stints as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny wants the party executive to expedite hand over process by June 2 but stressed that he will …

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Shannon years ahead of schedule-Varadkar

By Owen Ryan SHANNON Airport’s recovery has progressed much more quickly than he expected when he moved to separate it from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has acknowledged. On a visit to the airport, he said the fact that Shannon had moved into profit in 2013 (it was understood to be losing well over €100,000 a week in 2012) had surprised him. “To be brutally honest, as minister I really didn’t think the airport would manage that in year one. I thought it would have taken maybe three years for that to be done, so that’s one of the areas where we’re ahead of schedule really. It does mean that the airport is in a stronger position now to invest and to do things like build new hangars. Obviously, if you’re making losses you’re eating into your reserves and it’s harder to borrow. If you’re turning a profit, it’s much easier.” Mr Varadkar met with Shannon …

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Dooley protests over haulage levies

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley  has called on the Minister for Transport to immediately raise the concerns of Irish hauliers with his British counterpart regarding the imposition of a new levy on all foreign vehicles entering British soil, including Northern Ireland. Deputy Dooley said that Minister Leo Varadkar must make it a priority to have the roads in Northern Ireland excluded from this levy, which could impact over 9,500 vehicles in Ireland. “Over 9,500 heavy goods vehicles in Ireland will be subject to the new levy which will be introduced on all roads in Britain and Northern Ireland from the first of April. “This will particularly affect hauliers from Donegal, for instance; that have to travel through Northern Ireland to access the South in many cases. It will also impact all businesses that transport goods between both sides of the border, it will actually discourage companies here from expanding into and trading with the North. “This could cripple …

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Tourism policy review

THE tourism industry, tourists and members of the public have been invited to contribute their ideas on future plans for Ireland’s tourism industry, in a new Government initiative. Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring launched a wide-ranging review of Ireland’s tourism policy at a conference in Dublin. This is the first time this has been done since New Horizons back in 2003. The consultation and question paper published by the two ministers asks the tourism industry, stakeholders in the public and private sectors, tourists and the general public to answer challenging questions about the future of Irish tourism. “Tourism has moved from crisis mode two years ago, firmly into recovery mode now. With the success of The Gathering, a significant increase in overseas visits for three years in a row and a good summer for domestic tourism behind us, we now must ask ourselves, what next? I want …

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