Tuesday 12 December 2017

Minister Alan Kelly warned by gardai of dissident republican threat against his life

Environment Minister Alan Kelly,TD
Environment Minister Alan Kelly,TD
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

MINISTER for the Environment Alan Kelly has been warned by gardai that threats have been made against him by dissident republicans.

Mr Kelly was warned in recent weeks by gardai that his personal safety was under threat.

Speaking on Saturday Night With Miriam on RTE last night, the Tipperary TD said a garda superintendent had informed him of the threat.

“A couple of weeks ago a local Superintendent had to come up to me and find me and tell me to my face that I’m under threat from dissident republicans,” he said.

“It’s a difficult thing to talk about because it’s one thing to have some threats about yourself or nasty stuff about yourself but it’s another thing for stuff to be sent to your family, your wife, your parents but also your staff.

“These people just work for me and there’s people ringing them up saying they are going to be killed.”

However he denied any suggestion that threats could be linked to anti-water charge campaigners, claiming there is a small group of people in the country who ‘just want anarchy’.

He said that those responsible for issuing the threats aren’t interested in water charges.

“How do you distinguish between something whether it’s serious or not? You don’t know the minds of these people.

“In other countries people who work for politicians have been killed or injured, and it’s completely unacceptable.”

Mr Kelly conceded mistakes were made in the setting up of Irish Water, but defended the idea of paying for water use.

Lots of mistakes were made in relation to Irish Water but setting up Irish Water wasn’t a mistake.

“Down through history, water infrastructure wasn’t invested in to the level it needed to be because it was competing with education, healthcare, social welfare and, being honest - it wasn’t sexy enough to get the large scale funding that was required.”

The Minister also confirmed during the interview that he expects that Irish Water will announce how many people have paid their water charges in the coming days.

He said that he was still unaware of the level of payment, but that he would be informed after an Irish Water board meeting expected to be held this week.

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