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."
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) January 22, 2020
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.
— Seán O'Regan (@SeanOR95) January 22, 2020
Leo Varadkar confirms his drug use is so historical "a commemoration will be planned to honour it in Dublin Castle" pic.twitter.com/TUKW2aSgQB
— #FeckNews (@FeckNews1) January 22, 2020
Leo Varadkar when he said he’s done illegal drugs pic.twitter.com/lRye0954UJ
— John Holmes (@Johnholmes_) January 23, 2020
Omg hahahaha Leo Varadkar admitting to taking drugs on the debate was the most uncomfortable and iconic thing to come out of this #GE2020
— Rebecca Tallon (@becca_tallon) January 22, 2020
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) January 22, 2020
— Daithi (@daithigor) January 22, 2020
Leo Varadkar’s life flashed before his eyes in that gap before answering the drugs question #VMTVBigDebate
— Rachel (@RachelAda25) January 22, 2020