Ireland PM Varadkar visits ancestral village in Konkan

Last Updated 29 December 2019, 17:37 IST

Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Sunday visited his ancestral village along with his family members in the coastal Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, calling it "a very special moment".

It was his first visit to the village of Varad in Malvan tehsil, around 500 km from Mumbai, said Varadkar, who became prime minister of Ireland in June 2017.

His father Ashok Varadkar, a doctor, moved to the United Kingdom in the 1960s.

The visit was a "special moment" as three generations of his family had gathered, the Ireland prime minister said after the villagers felicitated him.

He also visited the temple of the village deity.

"I am here with my parents, my sisters and their husbands, my partner and some grandchildren are here...so it is a big family visit," the Ireland PM said.

It was a "very special moment" for them as three generations of his family were visiting "a place of my grandfather", he said.

"I am on a private visit here as of now, but I would like to visit this place again in the official capacity," Varadkar added.

During another interaction with villagers, he said, "This is my fifth visit to India but first to Varad village where my grandfather and father have been brought up. It is a privilege and honour for me to visit this place.

The Ireland PM also said he knows a few words of Marathi, his father's language, but not enough for interaction.

As Varadkar spoke in English, his cousin Shubhada Varadkar, who lives in Mumbai, acted as interpreter.

(Published 29 December 2019, 16:47 IST)

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