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Varadkar to visit Orange Order headquarters in Belfast

It is believed the symbolic visit will mark the first time the head of the Irish government has visited the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s HQ.

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Leo Varadkar will tour Schomberg House in Belfast on Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Leo Varadkar will tour Schomberg House in Belfast on Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Leo Varadkar will tour Schomberg House in Belfast on Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland’s premier is to pay an historic visit to the headquarters of the Orange Order in Northern Ireland.

The Press Association understands Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will tour Schomberg House in Belfast on Friday.

It is believed the symbolic visit will mark the first time the head of the Irish government has visited the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s headquarters.

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Brexit has caused tension between Mr Varadkar and unionist politicians (David Young/PA)

Brexit has caused tension between Mr Varadkar and unionist politicians (David Young/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Brexit has caused tension between Mr Varadkar and unionist politicians (David Young/PA)

It is understood Mr Varadkar will be meeting Orange lodge members from the Irish Republic as part of his visit.

The tour will form part of a day-long trip across the Irish border for Mr Varadkar.

The move comes at a time of tense relations between the Taoiseach and unionist politicians in the region over Brexit, with the latter accusing Mr Varadkar’s government of aggressive tactics in negotiations over the shape of the border when the UK leaves the EU.

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The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland declined to comment on the anticipated visit when contacted by PA.


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