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From the normally very cynical and funny Miriam Lord:
Desperate times require extraordinary lines as Leo finds right words

"In years to come, let them say of us: when things were at their worst, WE were at our best".

The right words were there when they were needed most. This was appreciated. For these are frightening times. People are scared. Worried about protecting themselves and the health of their loved ones and worried sick about what might happen if they can't work and pay the bills.

This is where cynicism subsides. When people forget to give out and look instead to politicians for leadership and direction and actually hope it might be there.

On Tuesday night in Dublin, Leo Varadkar did not let them down.

In the run-up to his television address, the national mood stiffened in uneasy anticipation of what bad news he had in store. At 9pm, there would be a rare schedule interruption under Section 122 of the Broadcast Act, which allows the Government airtime for announcements in the event of a major emergency. People were expecting the worst.

There was no big drama from Varadkar. No talk, yet, of military boots on the ground. No unveiling, yet, of immediate plans to escalate the containment measures already in place.

Instead, the Taoiseach delivered a calm and honest assessment of where we are now, the grim likelihood of what will happen next, what the authorities know and what the professionals can do and how we must all play our part in combating this pandemic.

By working together and looking out for each other, we can overcome. It was a masterly speech from a skilled and elegant pen, one for the history books. It was reasoned, very realistic yet reassuring.

There was empathy, clarity and at the end, hope. His powerful words traced a defining moment in Irish life and nailed down the speech of Leo Varadkar's life. This was for the generations.

"In years to come, let them say of us: when things were at their worst, WE were at our best". Some listeners said afterwards that this line - it came very early in Varadkar's 12 minutes -- was when they first began welling up.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 18th, 2020 at 10:18:42 AM EST

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