Wednesday 23 January 2019

Select few invited to Varadkar's 40th party in secret

Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett during the Montreal Pride parade in 2017
Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett during the Montreal Pride parade in 2017
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has set up a secret WhatsApp group to selectively invite friends, family and Fine Gael colleagues to a mystery party for his 40th birthday.

The guest list for the milestone birthday party is being kept under wraps, but the selective nature of the group is sure to cause disquiet among Fine Gael politicians.

When he established the social media group, Mr Varadkar told the carefully chosen membership his partner Matthew Barrett would be handling the organisation of the event at a yet-to-be-disclosed venue.

Those invited were told to be on standby for details of the big occasion. It is understood Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, Health Minister Simon Harris and Culture Minister Josepha Madigan have been invited to the party.

However, it remains unclear whether other Cabinet ministers have made the final list for the big occasion.

Both senior and junior ministers will be especially anxious to be included in the private WhatsApp group after the Taoiseach recently announced he plans to reshuffle his ministerial team after the local and European elections.

Backbench TDs who have not been included on the guest list will also be concerned about the impact the snub may have on their political careers.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan previously made headlines over comments he made in a Fine Gael WhatsApp group about Mr Harris during the party's leadership contest.

Irish Independent

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