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29th May 2020

Leo Varadkar addresses Phoenix Park pictures: “You have to live your life”

Brian Dillon

An Taoiseach addresses the Phoenix Park pictures that divided Twitter.

An Taoiseach addresses the Phoenix Park pictures that divided Twitter.

Leo Varadkar has spoken out about pictures of him and his partner Matthew Barret in Phoenix Park that went viral earlier this week.

Speaking on FM104’s Strawberry Alarm Clock, he said:

“Unfortunately there are camera phones anywhere there are people these days but that’s the way it is. You have to live your life. And if you’re afraid of photographs you’d never go out.

He also said that this bank holiday weekend he will “stay confined to the garden.”

“I don’t want to give my press officer a heart attack or anything,” he added.

The Taoiseach explained, “It is ok for people to enjoy the weather, to get out, get some exercise – meet some friends and family outdoors – obviously not in anything more than a group of four and to try as much as possible to keep that two-metre distance.

“The basic message is still’ stay at home’ but there are five exceptions and one of those is getting some exercise and getting out in the fresh air and the good weather if people can. Obviously wear sunscreen if you’re going to be out in the sun.”

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach explained earlier this week that Leo was “in line with public health guidance”.

The statement reads, “He was within 5k of the Stewards Lodge. The Taoiseach has been in Stewards Lodge during the last few weeks as it has a secure office and video conferencing facilities which allows him to work from home.

“Just like previous Taoisigh, he pays a nightly fee to use it.”

When the photos and videos first emerged, both ‘Leo Varadkar’ and ‘Phoenix Park’ began trending on Twitter.

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