Irish Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty)
Figures from across the political spectrum have condemned the far-right mob who unleashed a tirade of homophobic abuse outside Leo Varadkar’s home.
There was widespread shock and outrage in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday (19 September) when footage was shared on social media showing a far-right, anti-vaccine mob descending on Varadkar’s home.
Video footage from the incident shows the mob using homophobic and racist language to describe Leo Varadkar, who currently serves as tánaiste (deputy prime minister) in Ireland.
The small but vocal crowd made wild claims about paedophile rings within the highest echelons of Ireland’s political system. They also erected a banner outside his home about COVID-19 vaccines.
Far-right mob made shocking homophobic comments about Leo Varadkar
In a recording of the incident, a far-right demonstrator can be heard describing Varadkar as a “treasonous snake”, adding: “I don’t think his girlfriend’s going to be too happy. Oh wait, sorry, he’s the girlfriend, sorry. I don’t think his boyfriend is going to be too happy.”
Local police confirmed that they were called to the scene at around 1pm on Sunday (19 September) after the mob descended on Varadkar’s residence.
“Gardaí attended and the protest ended without incident,” a spokesperson said.
Irish politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the incident. Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald described the mob’s actions as “shameful”.
“The homophobic, bigoted intimidation witnesses at the home of Leo Varadkar today is outrageous and shameful,” she tweeted.
“The perpetrators must be held to account.”
Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon condemned the incident as “vile”, adding: “Blatant homophobia has no place in our Republic and should be confronted wherever it occurs.”
Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party colleagues also hit out at the far-right demonstration. Simon Harris, minister for higher education, tweeted: “Sickening, repulsive, disgusting behaviour outside the home of Leo Varadkar and [his partner] Matt. It has no place in a democracy, must be condemned by all & called out for what it is.
“Efforts to dehumanise politicians contributes to this. Vile on so many levels.”
Special education minister Josepha Madigan added: “It’s not OK for the mob to appear at home of Leo Varadkar shouting invective vitriol! Call this out as unacceptable!
“Those who flippantly attack here on social media & mainstream media might reflect on their words. This is the consequence! Let’s not take democracy for granted!”
Anti-LGBT+ ‘extremists’ face backlash from across political spectrum
Adam Long of the National LGBT Federation also condemned the demonstration.
“Homophobic abuse & intimidation is utterly reprehensible, all the more so when it takes place outside a private residence.
“The NXF welcomes the wide condemnation of such extremism but calls for a more robust legislative response if current laws are deemed inadequate.
“The role of social media platforms in fermenting far-right extremism also cannot be overlooked – a point that featured in all three of our Pride series interviews with the main party leaders last June.”
Countless others rushed forward to strongly condemn the mob’s actions.
Horrified at the vile homophobic abuse outside @leovaradkar & Matt’s home. No one has the right to bully & intimidate at a politicians home, this was not a protest it was an inevitable sinister mob result of repeatedly debasing political discourse #standup
— Senator Mary Seery-Kearney😷 (@SeeryKearney) September 19, 2021
Despicable attacks on Leo Varadkar’s house. Homophobia has no place in our society. No one should have to tolerate abuse like that.
— Caoimhín McCann 🇮🇪 (@CaoimhinOSF) September 19, 2021
Fully agree here.
Have witnessed a darkening of public discourse over the last number of years.
You’re entitled to disagree. You’re not entitled to dehumanise & spread hate.
Solidarity with @LeoVaradkar. https://t.co/oVerbmcSF7
— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (@AodhanORiordain) September 19, 2021
I disagree strongly with the politics and social attitudes of Leo Varadkar. A strong, no-nonsense line must be taken on homophobic harassment in every area of life.
— Miriam O’Callaghan 😷 #WeStillKnowLittleAboutCovid (@mir_ocall) September 19, 2021
Reading about the protest about Leo Varadkars home. Protesting at someone’s home is reprehensible in and of itself. The added layer of homophobia that is plainly present makes it all the worse. There is no excuse nor justification
— Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (@Donnchadhol) September 19, 2021
PinkNews has contacted the tánaiste’s spokesperson for comment.