HomeFitness‘I’ll keep going to bars, restaurants, the gym’ – Leo Varadkar vows...

‘I’ll keep going to bars, restaurants, the gym’ – Leo Varadkar vows not to change lifestyle in face of threats


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Leo Varadkar said he would not give in to those who seek to intimidate politicians as he ruled out entering some form of security bubble.

Last year several events raised concerns around the safety of elected representatives.

There were a number of arrests outside Leinster House in Dublin in September as far-right protesters heckled and threatened TDs, senators and staff members and tried to blockade an entrance.

A mocked-up hanging gallows adorned with pictures of prominent politicians, including Mr Varadkar, was brought to the gates of the Dáil.

Demonstrators have also protested outside some politicians’ homes, with Mr Varadkar again a target.

The scenes of violence on Dublin’s streets on November 23 during a far right-influenced riot have further intensified safety concerns for elected representatives here.

At his end-of-year media briefing, Mr Varadkar was asked about the risk to politicians and whether recent events had forced him to change his routine or habits.

“To be honest, I’ve kind of refused to change my life,” he said.

“And, you know, I have been advised by the Garda Commissioner (Drew Harris) that the threat is higher and the risk to my personal safety is real. And that is the case for other ministers too.

“You’ll know the Garda Commissioner has taken the decision to extend garda protection to all members of Cabinet, including the chief whip (Hildegarde Naughton) and Minister (Pippa) Hackett and Minister (Jack) Chambers, and that’s based on security assessments that the risk to politicians in terms of our safety is heightened.

“But I haven’t changed the way I live my life, nor will I.

“First of all, I’m not going to give in to it and, secondly, you know, I see how other countries operate where politicians, ministers, prime ministers live in a security bubble and… really forget what it’s like just to do ­normal things and live a normal life.

“And I don’t want to stop doing that, just for my own personal sense of being who I am.

“But, secondly, I don’t think it’d be a good thing for the country.

“You know, so I’ll keep on going to the cinema, I’ll keep on going to restaurants and bars, I’ll keep going to the gym and I’m not willing to have that changed.”

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