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20th Sep 2021

Mary Lou McDonald condemns “homophobic” protest outside Leo Varadkar’s home

Sarah McKenna Barry

Ms McDonald was one of many Irish politicians to condemn the gathering.

The leader of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald has spoken out against the far-right protesters who gathered outside Leo Varadkar’s home yesterday.

The protesters attended the Tánaiste’s home at lunchtime and targeted him with homophobic language.

A spokeswoman for the Gardaí said: “Gardaí were alerted to a number of protestors outside a residence in Dublin 8 this afternoon Sunday 19th September, 2021 at approximately 1p.m.”

“Gardaí attended and the protest ended without incident.”

On Twitter, Ms McDonald described the incident as “outrageous and shameful”.

She wrote: “The homophobic, bigoted intimidation witnessed at the home of Leo Varadkar today is outrageous and shameful.

“The perpetrators must be held to account.”

Many other politicians from across the spectrum also condemned the protest and intimidation.

Ruth Coppinger, of the Socialist Party, said: “The homophobia on display from those protesting at the home of #leovaradkar today is vile & also totally at odds with the vast majority in this country.

“The far right have used similar homophobia V Roderic O’Gorman. Oppose their policies, not their personal lives.”

Labour party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin sent solidarity to Mr Varadkar on Twitter.

He wrote: “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.”

Simon Harris described the incident as “vile on so many levels”, and said it has “no place in a democracy”.

Gary Gannon, of the Social Democrats, said that the protest was “nothing short of vile.”

The TD wrote: “Blatant homophobia has no place in our Republic and should be confronted wherever it occurs.”

Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane also took to Twitter to condemn the protest. The health spokesperson wrote: “Protests of his nature outside the homes of politicians is plain wrong. If you wish to protest do so outside the Dáil or Government buildings. But targeting the homes of politicians in Government should be condemned by all.”

He added: “What makes it even more appalling is the bigoted, homophobic intimidation. Shameful.”