herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

'Hope you enjoyed free concert and taco', band tells 'tosser' Leo

Al Doyle
Al Doyle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been defended by a minister after he was labelled a "tosser" by an American band for declining to pose for a photograph in front of a "repeal" flag.

Members of LCD Soundsystem launched a scathing attack on Mr Varadkar over the issue of abortion, saying they hoped he enjoyed his "free concert and taco".

The Taoiseach was among a group of Fine Gael figures who attended the gig at Dublin's Olympia Theatre on Friday night, including Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee and Limerick TD Tom Neville.

Following the show, the group went backstage and met the band.

Protesting

During the meeting, guitarist Al Doyle said he wore a "repeal" tote bag around his neck as a means of protesting Ireland's stance on abortion.

The musician later took to Twitter to slam the Taoiseach.

"Irish PM Leo Varadkar came backstage," he wrote.

"Wore a 'repeal' tote bag around my neck in front of him, he walked away. Tosser." Fellow band member Nancy Whang then waded into the fray, claiming Mr Varadkar "won't stand up for #reproductiverights", adding: "Hope you enjoyed your free concert and taco."

A spokesman for Mr Varadkar refused to say whether the Taoiseach had got a free ticket or free Mexican food.

However, it is understood he had been invited to attend.

"Leo Varadkar attended the concert with some friends," the spokesman said.

"He was invited backstage afterwards to meet the band. He was delighted to do so. It was a private evening and a social event."

Pose

It is understood Mr Varadkar was asked to pose for a photograph in front of a "repeal" flag and declined to do so.

Speaking on RTE's The Week In Politics, Junior Trade Minister Pat Breen said: "I understand that he spoke to a number of the members [of LCD Soundsystem] in relation to the referendum itself as well.

"Then somebody wanted him to pose for a picture with a repeal flag behind him.

"Honestly, the Taoiseach would not do that. He's in the middle of a debate. He is not going to take sides at the moment."

Later, Doyle tweeted: "It's totally just my opinion that Leo Varadkar is a tosser.

"He just seemed like a bit of a tosser in the limited time I spent with him."

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