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Leo Varadkar attends London festival despite ongoing restrictions in Ireland
5 September 2021, 14:52 | Updated: 5 September 2021, 16:12
The Irish deputy PM was Mighty Hoopla in Brockwell Park while mass events in Ireland are limited to 200 people.
Brockwell Park hosted 25,000 people over the first weekend in September for the Mighty Hoopla festival as British festivals get into full swing.
Controversy erupted in Ireland as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was photographed at the event while his government continue restrictions on the live events.
Under current Irish government guidance, outdoor events can take place to a capacity of 200 people with social distancing measures in place, or 500 if an outdoor space usually hosts more than 5,000 people.
The news came on the weekend that Ireland's biggest music festival, Electric Picnic, was scheduled to take place, but was cancelled due to restrictions.
On the weekend that Electric Picnic was meant to be on, here is @LeoVaradkar at the unsegregated full-on full capacity Might Hoopla Festival London. Entry with Covid passport or PCR test.— Mark Graham (@IreMusPod) September 4, 2021
Angry? Please let him & his colleagues who have crippled our entertainment industry know pic.twitter.com/ioz3iCnZGM
Politicians are entitled to a social life but Leo Varadkar flying to London to attend a festival in the UK while his own government has decided it’s unsafe to host an event with similar restrictions in Ireland is shockingly bad leadership. Power doesn’t suit him. Tired of excuses— Robert Burke (@robertburke84) September 4, 2021
Social media users shared their anger over the Fine Gael's holiday plans, as it was rumoured he also used the Irish government jet to fly to London.
A spokesperson for the Tánaiste commented on the events, stating that Mr Varadkar was in the UK "on private time, where such events are allowed".
They went on to state that Mr Varadkar is "one of the strongest supporters of the events industry in Government."
"He supported Electric Picnic going ahead and helped secure the re-opening plan for concerts and other big events beginning on Monday with capacity limits and vaccination certificates, moving to full capacity next month.
"The industry has received over €100m in financial support from Government, not including the EWSS (Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme) and PUP (Pandemic Unemployment Payment)."
The lack of self awareness of #LeoVaradkar to attend a festival in the UK....ON THE ACTUAL WEEKEND...Electric Picnic was supposed to happen astounds me (even further)— Estebantz (@ActingTheGom) September 4, 2021
The Fine Gael leader has reportedly returned to Ireland where the Dáil is set to reconvene on 15 September.
On 6 September the rules in Ireland are set to change to allow outdoor capacities of 75% where people attending are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.
Where not all members of the audience are fully vaccinated or recovered, a capacity limit of 50% applies.