|I love this image - Athena is so casual. 'Here I am, nothing to see here, just holding up the sky ...'|
But there is a dig is in the power dynamic implied. Ireland Athena to Britain's Hercules? Vardakar Athena to Johnson's Hercules? Ireland's goddess to the UK's demi-god? To judge from how Brexiters and government ministers have recently spoken about Ireland, they would conceive of it as being the other way round; they see Ireland as the weak neighbour, to be helped, patronised and pushed around by the UK. And that is Varadkar's subtle jibe at the UK, a reminder that, with the rest of the EU27 behind them, Ireland is in the best position its been in a thousand years to tell the other island to go fuck itself, and yes, they're going to have some fun with that.
Also, as Liz Gloyn says, if anyone ever offers to be your Athena, seriously consider running.