Leo Varadkar and partner Matt forced to move after ‘homophobic’ threats from the far-right

Leo Varadkar Matthew Barrett

Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt have been forced to move out of their home after they received “homophobic” death threats from the far-right.

The former Irish leader has been subjected to “extremely serious” death threats in recent weeks, some of which were of a homophobic nature, Ireland’s Sunday Independent reports.

Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt were reportedly advised to leave their home in Castleknock, Dublin, by Ireland’s police force as threats escalated. They have now been given extra protection by police and are in a more secure location.

The most recent death threats directed at Varadkar, who currently serves as deputy leader in the Irish government, are said to be “particularly nasty”.

He has also been targeted by anti-lockdown extremists and loyalist paramilitaries from Northern Ireland. The death threats are viewed as “credible” by security sources.

‘Homophobic’ death threats against Leo Varadkar are ‘unnerving’

Neale Richmond, a politician in Varadkar’s Fine Gael party, told the Sunday Independent that he was aware of the “unnerving” death threats.

Richmond acknowledged that Varadkar has been targeted with “homophobic death threats” and “racist death threats” over the years.

“It’s not nice for him or his partner Matt. But he’s getting on with it and has great faith in the guards,” he added.

The latest threats come just weeks after Varadkar’s home address was painted on a wall in Belfast beside a loyalist mural.

He was also the subject of threatening graffiti in Belfast in January, which urged him to not cross the border into Northern Ireland as tensions rose in loyalist communities around the Brexit agreement and the Irish border.

Leo Varadkar made history when he became Ireland’s first ever openly gay taoiseach in 2017 after he won the leadership of Fine Gael, a centre-right political party.

His party lost seats in the 2020 general election, leading Fine Gael to broker a deal with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party to enter into a three-party coalition. Under the terms of the agreement, Varadkar will serve as tánaiste (deputy leader) until December 2022, at which point he will become taoiseach again for the second half of the government’s lifespan.

Varadkar sent shockwaves through Ireland’s political system when he came out as gay live on radio in the lead-up to the country’s marriage equality referendum in 2015.