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Kenny checked phone at Pope meeting

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny has come under fire for using his mobile phone during a meeting with the Pope

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has come under fire for using his mobile phone during a meeting with the Pope

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has come under fire for using his mobile phone during a meeting with the Pope

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has come under fire for using his mobile phone during a meeting with the Pope.

Mr Kenny was accused of behaving discourteously as Pope Benedict XVI made an address in Italy at the weekend.

A Government spokesman said the Taoiseach would not comment on the video footage that showed him browsing on his touch-screen phone during the event.

The meeting with the Pontiff was the first since the Taoiseach castigated the Vatican for its inaction in dealing with the issue of child abuse in Ireland last year.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald criticised his actions.

"I haven't seen the video, but I have heard reports that he was, if not texting, manipulating his mobile phone during this encounter," said Ms McDonald.

"It seems to me not to have been terribly courteous."

The video footage was recorded on Saturday at Castel Gandolfo, where Mr Kenny attended a papal audience as part of a delegation from the Centrist Democrat International group.

He could be clearly seen using his touch-screen phone during the Pope's speech and was unable to properly applaud the religious leader, along with other audience members, because his phone was in his hand.

Instead, Mr Kenny continued to glance at the device. The footage has been uploaded to video sharing website YouTube and has already been viewed around 1,700 times.

PA


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