We followed protocol, says Taoiseach over Kilcloony 'Indian' tweet
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted all protocols were followed in regard to his visit to Northern Ireland.
His office was responding to a request for a comment over Lord Kilclooney's "typical Indian" tweet.
The peer sparked a Twitter racism row on Monday after referring to the race of the Irish premier in response to a news item on the DUP claiming the visit occurred "outside normal protocol".
- Kilclooney defends Varadkar 'Indian' tweet - 'an Irish politician would not have done what he did'
- DUP's Donaldson claims Varadkar broke protocol with Northern Ireland visit
Lord Kilclooney - better known as veteran politician and businessman John Taylor - insisted the comment was not racist saying no Irish politician would have behaved in a similar manner. He has refused to remove the offending tweet.
"The Indians are a great race," he added.
Asked for a comment, the Taoiseach's office said: "The Taoiseach took the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland yesterday following the All Island Civic Dialogue in Dundalk.
"He used the visit to meet young people at an integrated school, visit the Jethro Centre in Lurgan and meet with business people in Warrenpoint to speak about the impact of Brexit. Visiting Northern Ireland regularly is a priority for the Taoiseach.
"As is standard protocol, the Northern Ireland Office was informed."
The Northern Ireland Office has confirmed Monday's visit by Mr Varadkar followed correct procedure.
I am certainly no racist and in particular have an admiration for Indians.a member of the British/Indian APPG only yesterday I had a reply from 10 Downing St asking for a relaxation of visas for Indians. My point was that the PM had upset Unionists more than Irish PMs had!— Lord John Kilclooney (@KilclooneyJohn) April 30, 2018
Typical Indian was meant to be a comparison with an Irishman who would have a better understanding of Unionist opinion in Northern Ireland— Lord John Kilclooney (@KilclooneyJohn) April 30, 2018
You still do not understand the difference between being Irish by nationality as Varadkar is and being half Indian by race as Varadkar has confirmed he is. Nothing racist about it - simply factual.— Lord John Kilclooney (@KilclooneyJohn) April 30, 2018
Belfast Telegraph Digital