Tuesday 17 October 2017

Taoiseach: I've no problem with being branded a 'tosser' by LCD Soundsystem guitarist

ON THE TOWN: Back row from left, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, actress Jenny Dixon and TD Tom Neville, were among those included in a selfie taken by Fine Gael TD Helen McEntee (front centre) at the LCD Soundsytem concert last Friday nightstand
ON THE TOWN: Back row from left, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, actress Jenny Dixon and TD Tom Neville, were among those included in a selfie taken by Fine Gael TD Helen McEntee (front centre) at the LCD Soundsytem concert last Friday nightstand

Mary McDonnell

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he had "no problem at all" with a member of band LCD Sound System for declaring his views on the Eight Amendment.

Guitarist Al Doyle labelled the Taoiseach a “tosser” after a backstage meeting at the band’s Dublin gig last Friday night.

Doyle tweeted: “Irish PM Leo Vardkar came backstage, Wore a ‘repeal’ tote bag around my neck in front of him; he walked away. Tosser.”

The Taoiseach has insisted, however, he  was fine with Doyle airing his views.

He told the Sunday Independent: “We were invited backstage to meet the band which was a real privilege.

“One or two of the band members wanted to share their view with me on the Eight Amendment.

“I had no problem at all with that.”

Doyle said the band's synthesizer Nancy Whang "took [Mr Varadkar] to task" on Ireland's abortion law, adding: "It was uncomfortable and awesome.”

Yesterday, however, he said he didn’t want to detract from the debate and said “apologies were in order”.

In a lengthy series of tweets, he wrote: “A tote bag round the neck is a crap protest; sorry. But that's all I had to hand, and I was very tired. Like, existentially tired.

“I don't have much right to wade into this debate as some Johnny come lately when it's not even my country, so sorry about that too.

“I just think that women's bodies are their own, and it's weird that anyone feels they can't just say that for any reason.

“Also it's totally just my opinion that Leo Varadkar is a tosser. He just seemed like a bit of a tosser in the limited time I spent with him.

“I'm holding on by a thread in the departures lounge right now by the way. Just one Coca Cola between me and paranoid oblivion.

“The last thing I wanted to do was detract from the march today,” he added. “I'm glad there's a referendum happening; of course I am. And I'd hate to distract from the real debate in any way.”

Helen McEntee defended her party leader on Friday. She wrote on Twitter: “Wow! Do you realise he’s the one actually raising the repeal issue when others wouldn’t?”

Thousands attended yesterday's Pro Choice march in Dublin - the first major rally since the Government set a timescale of Summer 2018 for a referendum on the Eight Amendment.

The amendment, voted in in 1983, equates the life of the mother with that of her unborn child.

Mr Varadkar has previously said Ireland's abortion laws are too restrictive.

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