26/09/2012

Taoiseach Wasn't 'Playing Nintendo' During Audience With The Pope

A constituency colleague has defended Taoiseach Edna Kenny, who was filmed using his phone during an audience with the Pope, saying he wasn’t "playing Nintendo".

Fine Gael Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin said Mr Kenny was probably accessing important information about his audience with Pope Benedict through his mobile.

Video footage from the audience, which Mr Kenny attended last Saturday with other members of the Christian Democrat International political group, showed the Taoiseach using his phone while the Pope spoke.

It was the first encounter between the Pontiff and Mr Kenny since the Taoiseach's speech criticising the Vatican over the Cloyne report, and the closure of the Irish embassy to the Holy See.

But the footage showed Mr Kenny on his phone on numerous occasions, and he even appeared to take a photo at one stage.

The embarrassing incident has led to accusations the Taoiseach was rude, disrespectful and displayed bad manners.

"The Taoiseach has no record of being disrespectful to anyone," Ms Mulherin said. "He is a very personable. He wasn't playing Nintendo, most of the stuff he was getting on the phone was probably relevant to the meeting he was at."

(H/GK)


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