TÁNAISTE Leo Varadkar is in hot water after it emerged he attended a music event in the UK, mere days after saying Britain's rules regarding festivals were "definitely not an example to follow".
To add further insult to injury, the event he attended occurred during what would have been Electric Picnic weekend, leaving would-be Irish festival-goers furious.
A photo emerged of the Fine Gael leader at the Mighty Hoopla festival in London's Brockwell Park on Saturday, sparking outrage among the Irish music and entertainment industry, which has been severely curtailed by policies put in place by Varadkar's government.
It's understood that just a few days before travelling to the English capital, Varadkar warned music and entertainment bosses in Ireland about the UK's high rates of Covid-19 hospitalisation and death.
He apparently said during a meeting that Britain was the "most open" country in Europe and was therefore not an appropriate example to follow.
Leo Varadkar having a buzz at a festival in London while we’re not allowed to dance really does twist the knife in deeper. pic.twitter.com/MM9ou3s3wM
— Sam Greenwood (@Sam_Greenwood_) September 4, 2021
Ex-Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell described Varadkar's blunder as "completely tone- deaf" and added that she would not return to the party while it was under his leadership.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Brendan O’Connor radio show, she said that she thought the image was "jarring".
A spokesperson for Varadkar said that the Tánaiste was in the UK "on private time", where "such events are allowed," and insisted he had done nothing wrong by attending the festival.
"He supported Electric Picnic going ahead and helped secure the re-opening plan for concerts and other big events beginning on Monday with capacity limits and vaccination certificates, moving to full capacity next month," the spokesperson added.
While many on social media were quick to criticise Varadkar for the hypocrisy of his holiday, many argued that he has a right to a social and private life, even as a politician.