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23rd Jan 2020

Social media had a field day with Leo Varadkar’s response to drug question

Darragh Murphy

Leo Varadkar answered a question on drugs

The first televised debate ahead of the General Election provided quite a few memorable moments but social media’s favourite was clearly the length of time it took Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to answer a question about drugs.

Towards the end of the Pat Kenny-hosted debate, the question was sprung on both Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

“Honest answer, have you ever taken illegal drugs in any shape or form?” Kenny asked.

Martin answered immediately: “No, I never have.”

By way of response, An Taoiseach initially pointed to a Hot Press interview he did years ago in which he answered the same question and therefore, he didn’t feel the need to do so again.

Martin couldn’t hold in his amusement at that response and when Varadkar was pushed for an answer, he replied: “Yes but it was obviously a long time ago.”

In the 2010 Hot Press interview referenced by Varadkar, he admitted to smoking cannabis as a student and when asked if he’d experimented with ecstasy or any other illegal drugs, he said: “Not since I’ve held elected office, anyway. I’ve been extremely law-abiding since I’ve been elected to politics.”

Varadkar’s reaction to what seemed to be an unexpected question from Pat Kenny prompted social media to do its thing.