Irish PM goes for a drink in Dublin gay bar
Ireland’s Taoiseach has visited a popular Dublin gay bar.
Head of government Enda Kenny – of the Fine Gael party – took time out from running the country on Tuesday to visit Pantibar – run by drag queen activist Panti Bliss.
Irish Times columnist Una Mullally spotted the PM, tweeting: “I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I am in Pantibar right now, and so is Enda Kenny.
“Some unimpressed gay was wondering why there were so many suits in Panti. Me: ‘Enda Kenny’s there at the bar’. Him: *looks over* ‘Bless’.”
It is thought to be the first time that an Irish head of government has ever (publicly) visited a gay bar, just 21 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality.
After the bar shared a picture of their famous visitor, some decried the move as a “stunt” and electioneering designed to get the “pink vote”.
However, Panti Bliss stepped in to defend the politician, rebuffing claims that it was a pre-arranged photo opportunity.
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She said: “Calm down. We didn’t know he was coming. He came to meet the Fine Gael LGBT group who were having a Christmas get-together drink in the bar.
“It’s a public bar. Anyone can drink here. Why’d I post the picture? Because the Taoiseach in a gay bar is a first.
“It’s significant because only a few years ago a Taoiseach wouldn’t have dared, so it shows how times have changed.
“And by the way, if Michael Martin, or Joan Burton, or Gerry Adams or any other elected representative comes in we’ll serve them too. That’s what public bars do.”
She later added: “Some of the comments on the Pantibar [Facebook] page under the Enda Kenny pic are hilariously OTT. You’d swear we served Hitler and Hannibal Lecter.”
Mr Kenny has backed the ‘Yes Equality’ campaign ahead of the country’s referendum on civil same-sex marriage next year.