Who is Jess Brennan? The social media star at the centre of the Berlin D2 controversy

Who is Jess Brennan? The social media star at the centre of the Berlin D2 controversy

JESS BRENNAN may be a social media star by trade, but she found herself trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons this weekend. 

Her actions have prompted a wide variety of tweets both angry and amused. 

Jess Brennan probably waking up to 600 messages to delete her insta stories immediately,” one quipped. 

“If I was Jess Brennan today I'd just stay in bed and eat takeaway,” another suggested. 

To the uninitiated, it’s prompted just one question: Who is Jess Brennan. 

Okay, actually, it’s prompted two: What did Jess Brennan do? 

Who is Jess Brennan? 

Jess Brennan is an Instagram model and dancer based in Dublin. 

She boasted 69,300 followers on Instagram.  

According to her LinkedIn page, she has worked as a freelance dancer and choreographer for nearly 12 years. 

She also lists herself as a “freelance fire performer” with skills in 
“poi, breathing, eating, body burning, bar shows.” 

She also runs an Onlyfans page charging subscribers $30 a month for “saucy session content that is deemed too hardcore for the eyes of instagram.” 

Why is Jess Brennan famous?

Aside from her dancing career, Brennan puts her popularity on social media down to her innate ability on the platform.

She explained to Hot Press:

I don’t see myself as an ‘Instagram star’ and I definitely didn’t decide to develop a role. I was just always myself from the get-go on social media, which was seemingly a bit out there and different to most other Irish women – and all of a sudden a surge of people connected to it and it snowballed I suppose.

What did Jess Brennan do? 

The Dublin social media star hosted a “baked brunch” at the Dublin bar Berlin D2 this past Saturday. 

The event was supposed to adhere to Ireland’s strict social distancing measures. 

Under these guidelines, no one is allowed to stay in a pub for any longer than 100 minutes at a time and must eat a “substantial meal” cost a minimum of €9. 

Brennan came in for flack after sharing videos and pictures from the even via her Instagram stories. 

Those these stories are designed to disappear from the platform, several canny fellow social media users ripped the videos and pictures and shared them on Twitter. 

The clips show bar staff and revellers flouting social distancing rules.  

Some are pictured not wearing masks while in one widely shared clip a member of bar staff can be seen directly pouring spirits into several customers mouths in another clear defiance of the rules. 

Why are people angry with Jess Brennan? 

The footage has drawn widespread condemnation for its flouting of the rules with many viewing it as disrespectful to not only those working on the frontline of the pandemic but those who have lost loved ones to it. 

Ireland’s Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said people "are rightly sickened by the scenes". 

He wrote on Twitter: "The vast majority of Irish people have sacrificed a huge amount to help suppress this virus. They've shown huge solidarity. The reckless actions of a small few can have huge repercussions on everyone else." 

Simon Harris, his predecessor as health minister, described the scenes as "shameful". 

Harris said it was "A right kick in the gut and middle finger to everyone in our country who has worked so hard & sacrificed so much, to everyone who has lost a loved one or been sick with #Covid19, to every frontline worker and to every responsible business owner who have suffered so much." 


The head of the Licensed Vintners Association Donal O' Keefe has described the scenes as outrageous and appalling and said the venue should be shut immediately. 

"I'm absolutely fuming, it's disgraceful behaviour," he said. 

"The business in question does not hold a pub licence. We hope the gardaí investigate thoroughly and the full force of the law is brought to bear. 

"It is simply not acceptable and it reinforces the need for gardaí inspections of all hospitality businesses because this kind of behaviour in a public health crisis is simply not acceptable," he said. 

Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins also described the scenes as "deplorable and despicable" and a "slap in the face to front-line workers who are putting their life on the line during this pandemic". 

What has Jess Brennan said about the Berlin D2 incident? 

Jess Brennan has issued a statement in the wake of the incident.

She wrote: “The last few days have been surreal to say the least, and apart from turning a blind eye to the floods of online abuse and personal criticism which is a dark enough duty without the need to publicly defend myself…” 

“I wasn’t in a position as a promoter to make any sort of statement alongside BerlinD2 regarding the video in question on their premises or the behaviour of their staff member last Saturday.” 

Jess continued: “The media of course did what they do best, take one unreliable statement from an attendee (who by the way was there for the entire brunch) and less then a couple of minutes video footage as people were preparing to leave of what was admittedly a very irresponsible move of a member of barstaff before they were reprimanded by management.” 

“This portrayed a largely rule-adherent small gathering as something much different and was not by any means a representation of the brunch as a whole and personal footage and cctv footage of the restaurant proves that all in all your man was talking out of his arse.” 

“Today, after review from relevant authorities it is outlined in The Irish Times how neither the owners nor staff at BerlinD2 were in breach of any Covid19 public health regulations. Something I chose to sit back for before saying anything myself,” she wrote. 

“Handily enough though this 15 seconds of someone having a sip of booze has proved as a VERY convenient scapegoat for the government to hide their own shitty mistakes behind.” 

Jess continued: “Simon Harris if you want to tweet about Covid in Ireland and what is truly ‘shameful’ please discuss the unquarantined hoards of people on packed planes flying into the country from highly contaminated places…” 

“The workers conditions in meat factories and the living conditions in DP centres around the country where recent outbreak have stemmed from and how tightening restrictions furthermore denying the nation of rights and freedom is the government’s preferred choice over a proven effective test and trace system.”