Taoiseach breaks silence on protesters outside Leo Varadkar’s home

Taoiseach Micheál Martin called the sinister demonstrators who gathered in front of Leo Varadkar’s house “despicable and shocking”.

He also said the disturbing developments, which have seen an increasing number of private homes of politicians targeted, have “no place in our democracy.”

He added: “I think we as a country tolerate political debate, we tolerate protests and people have the right to protest in a proper way.

“But I think that invading the privacy of an individual, where he lives, his home, especially in this case, not only the Tánaiste, but also everyone in the neighborhood, there is no need for this type of aggressive protest in a residential area. “

Mr. Martin was speaking from Manhattan in New York after meeting the new governor of New York, Kathy Hochul.

Ms Hochul has strong Irish roots, with both groups of ‘old grass’ grandparents, and she was pictured with the Taoiseach and a Kerry jersey to prove it.

Martin also told reporters about our precious corporate tax rate of 12.5%, saying negotiations with our European and international allies are still “ongoing”.

Meeting of the Taoiseach with the governor in New York

EU and OECD member countries want it to be raised to at least 15%

But the Irish government retorts that the rate is a “cornerstone” of our economic policy which attracts so much FDI (foreign direct investment) to Ireland.

Mr Martin is in New York all week for the United Nations General Assembly, after Ireland won a coveted seat on the Security Council this week.

Katherine Zappone was not invited to any Irish government event at the UN in New York this week.

And Mr Martin said it was not just a matter of ‘shaking up’ so Ms Zappone will almost certainly not appear with government ministers near the UN this week.

Meeting of the Taoiseach with the governor in New York

Ms Zappone has been thanked on several occasions for her role in securing Ireland’s seat at the top UN table, which we will chair this week.

And yet, although she has been praised for her role in securing a seat on the Security Council through her networking, she will not be attending any of this week’s official events.

She broke her silence yesterday afternoon when she said she would not accept an invitation from the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs to give her side of the story of the infamous Merrion Hotel party in July .

This saw 20 guests gather in the hotel garden for a departure party for the former minister, Ms Zappone, who now lives in New York City.

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