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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar attends his first Seder

Taoiseach 'fascinated by the symbolism and shared memories' as he joins Dublin gathering

    Leo Varadkar and Maurice Cohen
    Leo Varadkar and Maurice Cohen

    Seder night was very different from other nights at Bertha and Maurice Cohen's Dublin home as their guests included the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar.

    Mr Cohen - chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland - said the Taoiseach was "interested in reaching out to smaller, especially immigrant, communities, he being the son of an immigrant. His father is from Mumbai." It was his first Seder.

    "Initially the suggestion was that he would attend services on Friday evening for Shabbat and Yomtov," Mr Cohen added. "I felt it would be better for him to attend a Seder as obviously it is the focal point."

    The Cohens were told that Mr Varadkar would be with them for two hours. In the event, he stayed for almost double that time, tweeting: "Delighted to join the extended Cohen family for Passover Seder. Shabbat Shalom." 

    The small gathering also included a four-year-old girl and friends "we have Sedered with for over 40 years".

    Mr Varadkar "appeared fascinated by the symbolism of it all and the shared memories across so many generations and thousands of years", Mr Cohen reported. "He said when he left that it had been the highlight of his week.

    "Of course it was an honour to host the Taoiseach. But more importantly, it was an honour for the whole community."

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