Thursday 29 September 2016

Protesters target Minister Brendan Howlin as he sits down for Sunday lunch

David Kearns

Published 13/07/2015 | 12:30

Around 20 demonstrators interrupted Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin as he was enjoying a Sunday lunch with colleagues in Dublin.

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The group staged a five minute protest outside Bar Italia when they caught sight of the Wexford TD in the window of the restaurant on Ormond Quay in Dublin's city centre.

Chanting “Jail, Jail, Jail them all. Banks get bailout, we get sold out,” the protesters surrounded the front of the Italian café and shouted abuse at Minister Howlin.

It is understood the TD was eating lunch at the restaurant along with colleagues from his department, and was not engaged in any official Government business.

As about a dozen protesters pressed a flag up against the restaurant’s front window, several more shouted “Labour, Traitor; Out, out, out” from inside the business.

“It was quite rude,” said a spokesperson for Minister Howlin. “It was completely uncalled for. The Minister said he was very taken back by the language used, and felt especially bad for his fellow diners – who had done nothing to have their Sunday lunch spoiled by these protesters.”

At one point, the Wexford TD and those accompanying him take out their phones to film the protesters filming him.

In another video posted online, one of the demonstrators spots that Minister Howlin has his phone out and shouts: “Take that f**king phone out of his hand.”

Posting on Facebook, several 'Dublin Says No' campaigners voiced their support for the action, saying: "Excellent work lads, keep it up."

With one adding: "He wont sneer at our friends again in a hurry, he scurried away out the back door like a rat."

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