CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Leo Varadkar who has been named a #RainbowIcon by Gay Community News magazine (GCN). Vlad finds himself in the company of seasoned campaigners like Nell McCafferty, Dr Lydia Foy and Panti Bliss but reaction to An Taoiseach’s inclusion has been decidedly sceptical.

After online commenters left a long list of alleged sins Vlad has committed against the LGBT community and the wider public, GCN responded by saying that “Varadkar made the list solely due to his being the first ever openly LGBT Taoiseach”.

It is an accolade that certainly couldn’t be awarded for his time at the department of health where Vlad, and now Simon Harris, preside over the sharpest increase in HIV since the 1980s. Ireland has a diagnosis rate at twice the EU average due in large part to the prohibitive costs of medicines.

While many other states offer free programs, Vlad has long been the target of campaigners hoping to impress on government the urgent need for the same here in Ireland. Big promises have been made but progress has been glacial to date.

Goldhawk wouldn’t be so cynical to think the rainbow icon has a well timed tweet or two ready for pride celebrations later this month.