Derek Hussey accused of 'casual racism' after stumbling over An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's name

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) councillor Derek Hussey was accused of 'casual racism' when he claimed he didn't know how to pronounce An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's name during a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council last night.

Friday, 26th October 2018, 10:08 am
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 11:15 am
Alderman Derek Hussey (left) and An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar (right).

The Deputy Mayor, who was speaking during the discussion of a motion on Brexit in his capacity as a UUP councillor, failed to correctly identify Mr. Varadkar and claimed he didn't know how to say his name.

Assisted by a number of councillors and by the Mayor, Colr. John Boyle, who clearly enunciated An Taoiseach's surname for his benefit, Alderman Hussey shrugged "whatever."

This prompted Sinn Féin councillor Sandra Duffy to accuse Alderman Hussey of "casual racism".

Ald. Hussey did not respond to the accusation.

An Taoiseach will be in Derry later today for a series of engagements including visits to the Apprentice Boys of Derry's Memorial Hall, the Rath Mór Centre and a St. Columb’s Past Pupils Union Dinner in the City Hotel.

Last year the former UUP grandee, John Taylor, was forced to withdraw a tweet in, which he referred to An Taoiseach, whose father was born in Mumbai, as "the Indian".