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19th Sep 2020

Leo Varadkar laughs off pointless act of cowardice

Conan Doherty

This is what the big act of bravery looks like.

This is what the statement comes down to.

Is this making a change?

Or is this just cowardly? Running as fast as you can away from whatever point you wanted to make but lost in a petulant display.

Whatever you think politicians are and are not doing, physical provocation isn’t the way to address it. Neither is sprinting away.

The renowned American writer Isaac Asimov once said violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. This might not have bruised Leo Varadkar but it didn’t achieve anything but garnering more sympathy for the Fine Gael leader.

However frustrated you are, there’s a way to go about it. There’s a way to affect change that doesn’t involve throwing smoothies. And, on the same day that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, a woman who devoted her life to bringing about tangible change by winning arguments, fighting for rights, spreading her message, it’s a depressing contrast that someone in Dublin resorts to taking aim at Leo Varadkar.

But the Tánaiste gave a composed response during the government briefing on Friday evening and he laughed off the incident before declaring he won’t be looking for any further security detail.

Asked about what happened, Varadkar joked that he thought he was being approached by Avril Lavigne. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t her,” he said.

Ahead of the restriction announcements, the Dublin native took to the city to record a video to explain the changes that were happening.

“I was in Merrion Square earlier on just filming a video to explain to the people of Dublin some of the decision that were made today,” he said.

“The good news is we got it finished! Before any incident happened so that will be posted later on this evening. 

“When I saw her coming towards me, I actually thought she was Avril Lavigne at first. She had the skateboard and everything, but unfortunately it wasn’t! 

“She also had a smoothie which ended up all over my face and half way down my suit. But, look, I had a spare suit and I just got on with the day’s work. 

“I haven’t spoke with the Gardaí yet. I believe they want to speak with me but that will be next week.”

Here is the video he recorded, without the smoothie.

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Leo Varadkar