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Office of the Taoiseach demeaned by Leo's fan mail to Kylie, says TD

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Leo Varadkar, his partner Matt Barrett and pals met Kylie backstage at her gig at the 3Arena in Dublin last December

Leo Varadkar, his partner Matt Barrett and pals met Kylie backstage at her gig at the 3Arena in Dublin last December

Leo Varadkar, his partner Matt Barrett and pals met Kylie backstage at her gig at the 3Arena in Dublin last December

Leo Varadkar's letter to pop star Kylie Minogue has been labelled "cringeworthy" and demeaning of his office by an opposition TD.

The Taoiseach wrote to the Australian singer ahead of her proposed visit to Dublin last October for a gig at the 3Arena, and offered to give her a personal welcome to the country.

The letter was issued on official paper with a Department of the Taoiseach header.

Relenting

Mr Varadkar attempted to prevent its release under the Freedom of Information Act twice, despite its status as an official note, before finally relenting.

"Dear Kylie, just wanted to drop you a short note in advance of the concert in Dublin," the letter read.

"I am really looking forward to it. Am a huge fan! I understand you are staying in the Merrion Hotel which is just across the street from my office in Government Buildings. If you like, I'd love to welcome you to Ireland personally," he added, signing off the letter as "Leo V, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister)."

Fianna Fail TD James Lawless said that, while he could understand to an extent Mr Varadkar reaching out to a well-known person visiting the country, there were better ways to go about it.

"I think it's demeaning of the office, sending a letter of that nature. I understand there's some discretion to reach out to sports stars or cultural stars. It's a little bit cringeworthy," Mr Lawless said.

"What compounds it is the refusal [to release the letter at first]," he added. "What had the Taoiseach got to hide?"

Mr Lawless said there was an appropriate way of doing things and that the Taoiseach could have sent the letter to Kylie on his own paper without any official Government stamp.

The details were provided to a tabloid newspaper after two initial refusals.

Kylie's October gig was subsequently cancelled when the star came down with a throat infection.

However, the Taoiseach did eventually meet the star backstage after he attended her rescheduled gig in December.