Photographing Varadkar

Sir, – Matthew Barrett (Letters, September 11th) postulates that the right to privacy is conditional on the attitudes, sensibilities and prejudices of another.

That is simply not the case and there is a rather straightforward legal test to be applied. In this case [the publication of a photograph of his partner, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, at a music festival] as in others it boils down to one question.

Can a high profile person reasonably expect not to have his photo taken in a public place or a semi-public place such as a major music festival?

If the answer to that is somehow “yes” then it would be a matter for the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Government to initiate the appropriate legislative changes. – Yours, etc,



Churchtown, Dublin 14.

Sir, – I’m not quite sure nose-picking in a public place can be covered by the Official Secrets Act to the extent that Irish Medical Organisation contracts should have been.

– Yours, etc,


Rathmines, Dublin 6.

A chara, – Nothing damages trust like a publicly-elected official doing something (albeit in a private capacity) that is at odds with their own, publicly-stated strictures for your good and mine.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s recent festival attendance in which the deeds did not match the words, brings to mind the divergence between the private life of one CJ Haughey, and his calling the citizenry to heel for “living beyond their means”.

Leaders who ask people to make sacrifices and endure hardships can demonstrate their respect for, and solidarity with, the people of whom they ask so much. Or not, as the case may be. – Is mise,


Clonskeagh, Dublin 14.

Sir, – Matthew Barrett raises legitimate concerns regarding the risks inherent in empowering members of the public to surveil the behaviour of others.

I am sure he is similarly perturbed by the promotion (in 2017, by Leo Varadkar, the then minister for social protection) of a telephone line and website to enable and encourage members of the public to report on the behaviour of their contemporaries. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.