It looks like Ireland’s Fine Gael party might be beefing with LCD Soundsystem. Last night, Leo Varadkar—the current Taoiseach of Ireland (something like a prime minster) and leader of the country’s conservative Fine Gael party—had much-coveted tickets to the last night of the band’s 3-night residency at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.
According to one Irish fan on Reddit, Varadkar has become something of a Justin Trudeau or Emmanuel Macron figure in “trying to adopt a squeaky-clean media image,” all while supporting policy that bans almost all cases of abortion—including cases of rape or incest—with the only exception being in cases of life-threatening risk to the parent. In response to this, Ireland’s REPEAL movement has gained traction in an effort to “repeal” the oppressive law in an Irish constitutional referendum. The word “repeal” has become something of a slogan in the indie music world, as bands like The National have worn it in performances to represent their opposition to the amendment.
Last night, LCD Soundsystem live member Al Doyle wore a “repeal” tote bag backstage at the performance, where he crossed paths with Leo Varadkar. In a tweet following their encounter, Doyle wrote “Irish PM Leo Varadkar came backstage. Wore a ‘repeal’ tote bag around my neck in front of him; he walked away. Tosser.”
Doyle has since apologized, noting that “a tote bag round the neck is a crap protest” and that he “[doesn’t] have much right to wade into this debate as some Johnny come lately when it’s not even my country.” Even with the apology, he continued to stress that it’s “totally just [his] opinion” and that he “just thinks that women’s bodies are their own, and it’s weird that anyone feels they can’t just say that for any reason.”
As the Irish Sun points out, Varadkar was seen backstage after the show with other members of Fine Gael, including the Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntree, who later responded on Twitter. “Wow! You do realise he’s the one actually raising the repeal issue when others wouldn’t #GreatGigByTheWay #PityAboutTheBitterness,” she wrote in a statement.
Despite the initial outspokenness, things seem pretty quiet now from Doyle. Though the beef has simmered down, hopefully musicians across the country will continue to fight for contraceptive rights. Revisit our review of LCD Soundsystem’s recent reunion album American Dream.