Northern Ireland news

Leo Varadkar denies breaching guidelines during Phoenix Park downtime

Leo Varadkar with his partner Matthew Barrett in Phoenix Park at the weekend.

Leo Varadkar has denied breaching Covid-19 guidelines, after he was pictured socialising in Phoenix Park with friends at the weekend.

A spokesperson for the taoiseach has said he was complying fully with the guidelines on both travel and social distancing when photographed by other park users while relaxing in the sun with his partner, Matthew Barrett.

Other park goers questioned whether Mr Varakar and his partner were two meters away from two friends who they were seen socialising with in the busy park.

A spokesperson said the taoiseach was within the 5km travel limit as he is currently living on the Farmleigh Estate, which is located in the park.

Leo Varadkar pictured in Phoenix Park at the weekend.

According to the statement, the taoiseach has been staying in Steward's Lodge during the last few weeks as it has "secure office and video conferencing facilities", which allows him to work from home.

The statement added that in line with the actions of previous taoisigh, he pays a nightly fee to use the lodge.

The current guidelines in the Republic state groups of up to four people who are not from the same household can meet outdoors while keeping two metres apart.

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Northern Ireland news