DOZENS of gardai had to protect Taoiseach Enda Kenny from protesters last night after up to 200 surrounded him, heckling and attempting to jostle him.
The Taoiseach was officiating at the opening of Abbey Community Centre in Galway where hundreds of people who were protesting about the controversial turf-cutting ban gathered to confront him.
The crowds blocked off the road to the centre, forcing the Taoiseach to get out of his car and walk with a garda escort.
Protesters shouted abuse, heckled and attempted to jostle Mr Kenny as he made his way into and out of the centre, forcing gardai to form a protective circle around him, keeping protesters at bay.
The Taoiseach had been made aware of the protest before his arrival and had offered to meet with a small delegation to discuss their concerns. However, this offer was rejected by protesters.
Dermot Moran of the Barroughter and Clonmoylan Bogs Action Group said up to 300 protesters had gathered to confront the Taoiseach on his arrival.