There was a strong social media reaction to Leo Varadkar’s address to the nation last night
18th Mar 2020
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took to the stage at the Dáil to address the nation on an unusual St. Patrick’s Day evening
There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction to Leo Varadkar’s St. Patrick’s Day address to the nation, in which the Taoiseach prepped us for ‘the calm before the storm’.
Varadkar addressed the population last night on RTÉ and Virgin Media, and gave a lengthy speech about the possible future effects of the coronavirus outbreak, and the measures that will be taken to try and halt the spread as much as possible.
Varadkar addressed the anxiety and fear that many are feeling in this unprecedented time, and advised staying off social media and calling family and friends to relieve tensions. He also addressed the young people and children of Ireland directly, saying that he knows they may be bored and want to see their friends again, but to remember to check in with their parents and help them as much as possible during this time.
Social media was alight during and immediately after the Taoiseach’s speech, with positive messages praising his ‘compassionate’ and ‘calm’ approach to our national day. Leo Varadkar is leading a makeshift government, which is in place to lead the country through the coronavirus crisis.
In Ireland’s general election just over five weeks ago, Fine Gael received the least number of seats of the three main parties in government, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar only regaining his seat after the fifth count – the first Taoiseach in the history of the state to have such a result.
Despite his performance in the election, hundreds took to Twitter to praise Varadkar’s leadership during the outbreak, and his speech last night, which some said was ‘the defining moment of his career’. Here are some of the tweets:
Where were you when Leo made THAT speech?
— Sarah Breen (@SarahJayBee) March 17, 2020
Thank you @LeoVaradkar for a realistic & oddly comforting address especially remarks about our younger & older people. “This is the calm before the storm before the surge … we will get through this, we are with you”. Crying in front of the telly. #coronavirus #CoronaIreland pic.twitter.com/Pk0ip2z4tO
— Roisin Ingle (@roisiningle) March 17, 2020
I don't think any of us realised how much we needed that address from Leo Varadkar until he started talking.
— Michelle Hennessy (@michellehtweet) March 17, 2020
That was what real leadership looks like! Something for everyone. Clear, concise & honest. What the Irish public need right now.
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) March 17, 2020
Maybe it's the cans and the lack of human interaction but I think Leo did a fucking great job with that speech. Fair play Leo #leovaradkar
— Kevin McGahern (@kevinmcgahern) March 17, 2020
A really good speech by @LeoVaradkar. Human and compassionate.
He's right, it is the calm before the storm. And whatever lies ahead we'll do it together.
— Hazel Chu (@hazechu) March 17, 2020
Solidarity. Honesty. Empathy. That’s what we need more than anything else right now. The speech from our #Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar had all three. What he said didn’t make me feel better about what’s coming. But it didn’t make me feel worse. We will face it together and we will win.
— Conor Pope (@conor_pope) March 17, 2020
That’s the best speech Leo Varadkar has ever given. Content, tone, explaining carefully the rationale, displaying great human empathy. Proper appreciation of frontline workers in this great fight. Irrespective of political outlook it is time to come together as a great nation.
— Gareth Noble (@GarNob) March 17, 2020
Currently, the Republic of Ireland has confirmed a total of 292 cases of Covid-19, with two deaths from the virus so far.
Featured image: Screengrab, RTÉ, via YouTube
Read more: Sleep, uncertainty and social media: Dr Doireann O’Leary explains how to reduce Coronavirus anxiety
Read more: HSE to use Croke Park as Covid-19 testing facility
Read more: ‘We are in this together’: Taoiseach says nation can and will fight COVID-19
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