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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".

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.

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