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Varadkar sees landmark Green Monster wall during trip to baseball ground

Irish premier Leo Varadkar hoped to avoid striking out as he continued his US engagements on Tuesday with a tour of the Boston Red Sox baseball ground.

Fenway Park, which was under pre-season preparations, was opened to an Irish delegation for a guided tour.

Mr Varadkar was visiting the stadium with Irish sports-data firm Output Sports, which is seeking to collaborate with the Red Sox as part of its investment in the state of Massachusetts.

Taoiseach visit to the US
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a visit to the home of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park (Niall Carson/PA)

Also attending were Irish ambassador to the US, Geraldine Byrne Nason, and the Irish consul general in Boston, Sighle FitzGerald.

While shuffling for photos to be taken, Mr Varadkar joked to the diplomats that they could “edit them later” in an apparent reference to the controversy over digitally altered photos released by Kensington Palace of the Princess of Wales and her children.

The Taoiseach was presented with a baseball, catcher’s mitt and bespoke “Varadkar 24” Red Sox jersey during the tour.

Taoiseach visit to the US
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is presented with a ball and mitts (Niall Carson/PA)

The stadium is owned by the Fenway Sports Group, which also runs a team in the TGL golf league created by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Mr Varadkar was also given a golf cap signed by McIlroy.

Mr Varadkar opted not to pitch a baseball, telling reporters and photographers he was aware they were hoping for an embarrassing photo.

He was toured around the “warning track” of the outfield towards Fenway Park’s famous “Green Monster”, which is one of the highest walls among Major League Baseball fields.

Taoiseach visit to the US
Leo Varadkar in the stands at Fenway park (Niall Carson/PA)

There he was invited to sign his name on the inside of the wall, before posing for further photographs between the “BALL, STRIKE, OUT” indicators.

Mr Varadkar is scheduled for a busy itinerary across Boston and Washington, including a traditional trip to the White House.

He was due to speak at the “Ireland Funds Young Leaders” event later on Tuesday, where officials said he would reflect on the Irish Government’s theme for St Patrick’s Day 2024 which is “Ireland’s future in the world” by celebrating the achievements of young diaspora leaders across the fields of innovation, creativity, and academia around the world.