Dublin Standards: Irish PM Denies Breaking Lockdown Rules After Having Topless BBQ in the Park

Leo Varadkar
Twitter

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has denied breaking the lockdown rules after he was pictured attending a topless barbeque in a sunny Dublin park with his partner and two other friends.

On Monday, a spokesman said that that the Europhile Irish leader “broke no laws, breached no regulations and observed public health guidance” while gathering in Phoenix Park on Sunday.

“The Taoiseach [Prime Minister] was in the Phoenix Park with his partner Matt and two friends on Sunday afternoon, in line with public health guidance,” the spokesperson added.

The denial of any wrongdoing came after images were circulated on social media of Mr Varadkar, his partner Matthew Barrett, and two other friends lounging while having a barbeque in public, according to the Irish Independent.

The gathering did, however, appear to contradict the advice that was given by the assistant secretary of the Department of the Taoiseach, Liz Caravan, who said last week that: “If you’re visiting a public amenity try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics. Please do your exercise and then go home.”

Despite Mr Varadkar apparently breaking the national lockdown rules that he imposed upon Irish citizens, there has been comparatively little backlash in the mainstream media, particularly when viewed alongside the media storm surrounding UK political advisor Dominic Cummings.

Brendan O’Neill, a columnist for Spiked Online observed while discussing the differential noted that he was not particularly bothered by either supposed scandal, but asserted that the double standard in media coverage of the two incidents was a result of the different political positions the two men hold.

While Varadkar has enjoyed prominence and favourable over to his position as a media darling as the anti-Brexit, first openly homosexual PM of the Republic of Ireland, Mr Cummings has long been a target for the media establishment for his role in the Vote Leave campaign in 2016, which helped secure the Brexit referendum.

“They loathe him [Dominic Cummings], and their weird, obsessive, creepy focus on where he went during lockdown is transparently an extension of that loathing,” O’Neill wrote.

“It’s so clear now that the Cummings fuss has nothing to do with car journeys, Durham, Barnard Castle or any of the other crap,” he added.

O’Neil said that the disparity is a form of “Remoaner Revenge”, saying that is the reason why “Varadkar is forgiven for having a shirtless picnic while Cummings is demonised for driving north to protect his wife and child from media intrusion”.

“How about this: we forgive them both and move the hell on,” O’Neill suggested.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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