Varadkar refuses to name attendees


FUNDRAISER:FINE GAEL’S communications spokesman Leo Varadkar has declined to say who attended a €150-a-head constituency fundraiser in a Dublin city centre restaurant this week.

More than 100 people attended the private function in Town Bar Grill on Thursday, including leading figures from the communications, business, banking and legal worlds, according to a number of those who attended.

One described the restaurant, which closed to the public for the night, as “chock-a-block”, while another said it was “jam-packed”. The attendance included prominent business people with Fianna Fáil links. One attendee said those present represented a cross-section of Dublin business life and most were not “high profile”.

In an address after the meal, Mr Varadkar said Fine Gael should capitalise on the situation in which it found itself in the polls by arguing strongly for the stability a single-party government would bring.

Last night he said that “dozens, not hundreds” attended the fundraiser in the restaurant on Kildare Street near the Dáil. He said it was a private event held to raise funds for Fine Gael in the Dublin West constituency and not for his personal political campaign.

It was an annual event that “was organised well before the election date was set”. Asked who had attended, he said: “I could not say who was there.”

Asked if people involved in the communication areas, such as executives from telephone or public relations companies, had attended, he declined to say other than stating that those who attended had done so in a personal capacity.

“It is people who buy the tickets who come to the fundraiser. I do not tell people who does or does not attend,” he said. Those who attended were “mostly party members”, he added.