Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is hosting a €250 per capita dinner this week to raise funds for the next general election.
Whilst awaiting the outcome of the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) review of the Garda file on allegations that he had leaked a confidential government document, the Fine Gael leader is asking his supporters to donate hundreds of euros to attend one exclusive dinner event at the four-star Castleknock Hotel in Dublin.
Mr Varadkar has been writing to his supporters in recent weeks asking them to attend the event in the heart of his constituency in Dublin West.
He warned supporters that the next general election was only two years away and said they must start preparing for the campaign now.
Ms. Tánaiste said “Ireland has many problems” and “many challenges that we need to address” such as the problems surrounding housing, climate change and the ongoing cost of living crisis.
He said it was “essential that Fine Gael maintains and strengthens its position” lest the country “gamble all its achievements by giving in to populism”.
Mr Varadkar said he “would love” to hold the event in his constituency and encouraged supporters to buy a seat or table for the event, which takes place this Thursday.
He also included a copy of the Political Fundraising Rules.
The Tánaiste spokesman said the event was a “standard annual fundraiser for members and supporters and will be held in full compliance with all rules”.
“It is the first such event in three years in the constituency due to the pandemic. The amount charged is a quarter of the maximum allowed by law – and much less than some opposition parties charge for attending fundraiser dinners,” he added.
The event has raised suspicions within Fine Gael over when the next general election could take place – with some suggesting the fundraiser could signal the vote could take place sooner than expected. Other Fine Gael sources insist the Tánaiste is merely padding his campaign fund after being unable to receive donations from supporters during the pandemic.
According to the deal agreed by the coalition, Mr. Varadkar is to become Taoiseach in December.
However, there were doubts as to whether the ongoing investigation into his decision to marry his friend Dr. Revealing details of a GP contract to Maitiú Ó Tuathail will prevent him from becoming a Taoiseach again.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Mr Varadkar is entitled to a “due process” while awaiting the outcome of the DPP decision on the Garda file on the leak allegations.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has also refused to be drawn into the controversy, saying he would allow the DPP office to do its job without comment from him.
College Minister Simon Harris said so Sunday independent that he looks forward to electing Lord Varadkar as Taoiseach in December.
“I don’t think you give up your right to due process just because you take up political office. I obviously have full confidence in Leo and look forward to voting for him in December,” he said.
Last month, Mr Varadkar insisted he had not broken the law by giving his friend details of the GP contract.
“What I want to say, and I will reiterate this, is that the allegations that were leveled against me were false, they were politically motivated,” he said.
“I have committed no crime. I haven’t done anything corrupt. In fact, I haven’t even done anything selfish.
“And I think when this is over, any sane person will realize that.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/leos-war-chest-dinner-seen-as-possible-warning-of-an-early-next-election-41626691.html Leo’s war chest dinner is seen as a possible warning of an upcoming election