Varadkar thought woman 'was Avril Lavigne' as drink attack condemned

Varadkar thought woman 'was Avril Lavigne' as drink attack condemned

A screenshot of a video where Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has a drink thrown at him. Picture: Darren Cleary/Twitter

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has had a drink thrown on him by an unidentified woman.

Mr Varadkar was filming in Merrion Square in Dublin city centre this afternoon when the woman, who was wearing a mask, approached and threw a drink at him. 

A Twitter account which first tweeted the video said that the drink was a smoothie.

Speaking at a press conference this evening addressing new Covid-19 restrictions for Dublin, Mr Varadkar said that the incident had taken place after filming had ended. 

He said that he had thought the woman was singer Avril Lavigne as she had a skateboard.

“When I saw her coming towards me I actually thought she was Avril Lavigne at first, because she had the skateboard and everything. But unfortunately, it wasn’t," said the Tánaiste.

“[The woman] also had a smoothie which needed up all over my face and halfway down my suit. But, look, I had a spare suit and just got on with the day’s work."

He said that he does not believe the incident justifies a security detail but confirmed that gardaí will speak to him next week.

The videos have circulated around social media today, prompting strong condemnation online. 

Former TD Noel Rock called it "a poxy thing to do, regardless of your political view".

Former presidential candidate Gavin Duffy said it was a “horribly uncouth” to do to Mr Varadkar.

“This is an attack on our democracy not him,” he said on social media.

“It’s reported it was coffee but it could have been anything including acid. We need to better protect our politicians.”

Gardaí said in a statement that they are "investigating an incident that occurred in Merrion Square today" that occurred at around 3pm.

Mr Varadkar's spokesperson has been contacted for comment.

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