Sunday 25 February 2018

MEP called “Labour scum” and spat at by assailant

Phil Prendergast
Phil Prendergast
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

A Labour Party MEP has spoken of her shock after being spat at into the face by an assailant.

Phil Prendergast had to receive medical attention and have tests carried out following the incident.

The 54-year-old was walking through Cork city on Wednesday on the way to the funeral of the father of Labour TD Ciaran Lynch.

She was approached by a person who called her “Labour scum” before spitting phlegm in her eye.

Ms Prendergast said she felt like pulling out of politics following the incident.

She reported the assault to gardai and got medical attention over fears for the transmission of disease through the mucus membrane in the eye.

The results of the tests won't be known for six weeks.

Ms Prendergast said she had “never felt so violated in all my life”.

“In all my years in politics I have never heard of, yet alone directly experienced, this type of human violation. I am deeply shocked by the incident and physically sickened.

“Politics is one thing, but when I was walking on that street I was not a politician, I was a 54 year old woman alone on a street at night, and I felt like that,” she said.

“I think this type of extremism is abhorrent. There is no way that individual would do that to a man. And to be honest I felt like immediately pulling out of politics once and for all but that would be giving that individual exactly what he wanted.

“I stand for the kind of politics where we debate issues, where we try to do the best for people and where depending on how successful we are, we are voted in or voted out. This type of behaviour has no place in a republic or a democracy,” she added.

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