Sunday 22 April 2018

Cries of 'disgrace' and 'shame' greet Taoiseach

Enda Kenny being heckled by protesters in Waterford
Enda Kenny being heckled by protesters in Waterford

Conor Kane

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was greeted by angry protesters in Waterford who shouted at him as he walked and tried to drown out his speech when he opened a new museum.

A number of people shouted, "shame, shame" and, "disgrace" while the Taoiseach made his way from an event at the Tower Hotel in Waterford towards the new Medieval Museum.

Reports that Mr Kenny was spat upon were discounted by gardai and organisers of the anti-austerity, anti-property tax protest.

Gardai said splashes from a cup of coffee held by one of the protesters may have landed on the Taoiseach's jacket.

One man shouted, "get the f**k out of Waterford".

The group, numbering around 20 people, remained outside the museum while speeches were made marking its opening.

They used car horns and sirens to try to drown out the speeches, and shouted, "Kenny, Kenny, Kenny, out, out, out" during the Taoiseach's remarks.

Mr Kenny said at the end of his address: "I love the background music out here."

Inside the museum Mr Kenny got a taste of what it's like to mint your own money, away from the watchful eyes of the troika.

"We won't tell Angela Merkel you're making money," the director of the Medieval Museum, Eamon McEneaney, assured the Taoiseach as Mr Kenny and actor Derek McGrath re-enacted scenes from the old mints.

Using a hammer and press, Mr Kenny successfully impressed an image of Edward I on the type of solid silver coins which once were currency throughout the country.

The opening comes a year ahead of next year's events to mark 1,100 years since the foundation of Waterford city by Vikings.

Irish Independent

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