News Elections

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Noonan branded a 'traitor' as anti-austerity hecklers confront Kenny on hustings

David Raleigh

Published 10/05/2014 | 02:30

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As members of the Anti Austerity Alliance shout abuse and blow whistles an angry Minister for Finance takes shelter in Cruise's St., Limerick while awating the arrival of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.  Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22
As members of the Anti Austerity Alliance shout abuse and blow whistles an angry Minister for Finance takes shelter in Cruise's St., Limerick while awating the arrival of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22
As members of the Anti Austerity Alliance shout abuse and blow whistles the Taoiseach Enda Kenny canvasses on Thomas St, Limerick yesterday
Derrick Towell a candidate in the forthcoming election for the Anti Austerity Alliance

THE Taoiseach and Minister for Finance were met by an angry mob of anti-austerity protesters in Limerick.

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Around 80 protesters for the Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA), and others, surrounded Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan as they went on an electioneering walkabout in the Treaty City.

Protesters called Mr Noonan a "f*****g traitor" for his austere Budgets.

The minister, visibly annoyed, responded to one protester: "Go away. We'll see how much votes you get."

Fine Gael supporters and party hacks placed opened umbrellas between Mr Noonan and protesters who confronted him standing outside McDonalds on Cruises Street.

Father-of-five Tony Hogan, from Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, told the minister he had "some cheek" telling him to "go away".

"The pressure from banks are directly responsible for at least 500 suicides," Mr Hogan said.

Protesters blew whistles and shouted: "We're here to 'blow the whistle' on austerity."

Mr Kenny kept smiling as a large crowd followed him waving anti-water tax protest placards.

The crowd heckled and whistled as the Fine Gael leader met party colleagues, supporters and members of the public, on his whistle-stop tour.

Garryowen pensioner and widow Brian Hinchy, who is wheelchair bound, confronted the Taoiseach over why his medical card had been taken off him.

Mr Hinchy said his annual income was only €18,000.

"We could do an awful lot with that €80bn euro we paid to the bankers and bond holders," Mr Hinchy told the Taoiseach.

"Bet your life (we could)," Mr Kenny replied.

The Taoiseach said he would look into Mr Hinchy's medical card situation.

As he took refuge in his car to leave, the Taoiseach remained upbeat despite enduring the half-hour protest.

He remarked: "Ah sure, we encounter this in many places around the country."

He added: "We've a job to do to get it all sorted out. It's never easy, and we understand the challenges and the difficulties that many people have."

Irish Independent

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