Picnicking Leo Varadkar Broke Irish Lockdown Rules

Over in Dublin the Irish Taoiseach has been pictured on Sunday evening enjoying the sunshine in Phoenix Park, away from home following the relaxing of the rules to allow people to meet friends outdoors, so long as social distancing was maintained. Varadkar’s people explained away how he was over the 5 kilometre limit for travel, claiming he was not living at his usual residence. Official sources claim the Taoiseach chose to stay at the Steward’s Lodge park residence in the park, because it has an office with “secure connections” for video conferencing which allows him to work from there. Convenient.

The tame Irish press seem disinterested as to whether or not he broke the 2 metre rule on the picnic. In fact they have not, as far as Guido can see, even reported with pictures of the picnic. Picnicking is against Varadkar’s own government’s guidance:

Outdoor spaces and tourism sites, including car parks beaches and trails will be opened, where people can move around freely and where social distancing can be maintained. If you’re visiting a public amenity, try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics. Please do your exercise and then go home.

Astonishingly the Irish press seem keener on reporting on Dominic Cummings’ movements…

Hat-tip: Gript

mdi-timer 25 May 2020 @ 18:50 25 May 2020 @ 18:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Leo Copies Boris

Following Boris’ new video last night answering the most googled questions about him, embattled electioneering Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has now released his own version. Guido understands that while Topham Guerin did the Boris video last night, they are not behind Leo’s video. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

mdi-timer 29 January 2020 @ 13:00 29 Jan 2020 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Irish Government Says Brexit Happening October 31

If you go onto an Irish government website today this is the splash advert you see. They still seem pretty certain Brexit is happening in 24 days on October 31…

mdi-timer 7 October 2019 @ 10:29 7 Oct 2019 @ 10:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Magners: Now is a Good Time to Switch to Britain

Irish cider and beer maker C&C Group, whose brands include the Magners and Bulmers ciders, as well as Tennants lager, said it will seek admission to London’s FTSE and discontinue its Irish stock market listing, simultaneously switching its financial reporting from euros to sterling from October 7, the company announced this morning. The company will cancel its listing in Dublin, despite Brexit…

mdi-timer 10 September 2019 @ 17:00 10 Sep 2019 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Coveney Casts Doubts on Ireland’s No Deal Plans

The wobbles among the Irish political class over Varadkar’s uncompromising stance on the backstop are continuing to grow. Now former Irish Europe Minister Lucinda Creighton has penned an article defending opposition spokesman Tommy Dooley – who caused a major stir last week after lashing out at Varadkar’s “arrogant” Brexit approach and accusing him of a “failure to engage in basic diplomacy”. Creighton, who was a key figure in the ‘Yes’ campaigns in Ireland’s two Lisbon Treaty referendums, writes:

“The idea that the government’s stance is beyond criticism or scrutiny is quite ridiculous… That an opposition TD was forced to delete a tweet simply because it criticised the Taoiseach and the government’s handling of Brexit and British relations is a cause for concern…

“It is almost impossible to find a dissenting voice which dares to suggest the framing of the backstop in the withdrawal agreement might not in fact be in Ireland’s best interests…

“Such a mass closing of minds to alternative opinion is deeply worrying. I say this as someone who broadly agrees that the backstop is the optimal way to avoid a hard border and protect the Good Friday Agreement. However, to choose to ignore the risks inherent in the EU and Irish position is plainly wrong. We need to face up to them.”

It comes after Patrick Coveney – brother of Tánaiste Simon Coveney and CEO of Irish food giant Greencore – warned that Ireland’s no-deal contingency plans for smooth goods transit across the UK land bridge might not work in practice. Will the younger Coveney heed the warning of his older brother and shift his position on the backstop…?

mdi-timer 5 August 2019 @ 16:30 5 Aug 2019 @ 16:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Irish Central Bank Warns of 100,000 Jobs Lost if No Deal

The Central Bank of Ireland has sounded off about potential ‘cliff-edge’ risks in the event of a no-deal, no-transition Brexit:

“The main outstanding source of risk to financial stability in Ireland stems from a worse-than-expected macroeconomic shock. This could arise if the expected negative impact through trade channels is compounded by a sharp increase in uncertainty and a fall in confidence, with knock-on effects to Irish employment, incomes and investment. Ireland’s relatively acute exposure to Brexit may also negatively alter investor sentiment towards Irish assets, with adverse implications for financing conditions of an already relatively indebted private sector. Given the extent of direct and indirect exposures, this would result in unanticipated losses for the domestic financial system.”

The Central Bank forecasts that in a No Deal scenario Irish economic output could be approximately 6% lower in 2020. In the understated language of central bankers they warn of

“… severe financial market dislocation and have potential knock-on effects for financial stability in Ireland. Negative income shocks arising from a disorderly Brexit scenario would present challenges to the private sector in Ireland, and the domestic banking system from which they have borrowed .Despite recent delevering and balance sheet repair, the Irish non-financial sectors remain heavily indebted. Household debt as a percentage of disposable income ranks fifth highest within the EU and slightly above the OCED average,while a small pocket of SMEs still carry high debt levels. Irish retail banks remain the most important source of external financing for households and SMEs. The exposure of the Irish banking system to SMEs is significant vis-à-vis sectors that would be most affected by a disorderly Brexit, such as agriculture (Primary Industries), manufacturing, retail trade and tourism (Hotels & Restaurants). In addition, one quarter of Irish banks’ credit exposures are directly to borrowers in the UK, predominantly to the household and corporate sectors, (62% and 31% of UK exposures, respectively), creating a direct source of risk from a disorderly Brexit.”

Yesterday’s third quarterly report report from the bank predicts there will be around 34,000 fewer jobs by the end of next year and more than 100,000 fewer jobs over the medium term compared to their forecast in the event of no deal. The Irish workforce is only two and a quarter million – one fifteenth the size of the UK. This would be like the UK losing 1.5 million jobs, almost 5% of the workforce…


The Irish business community is getting uneasy and going to start demanding politicians get real and show some flexibility over the backstop. The Irish economy is at full capacity with GDP growth forecast to come in at a scorching 4.9% this year, this would plunge to 0.7% next year in the event of no deal…

mdi-timer 31 July 2019 @ 13:45 31 Jul 2019 @ 13:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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