Tuesday 17 September 2019

Minister calls for new laws to limit protests after demonstration at home

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe was the target of protests. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Defence Minister Paul Kehoe was the target of protests. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A minister whose home was targeted by demonstrators at the weekend is to seek new laws that will limit protests.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe was escorted from his Wexford home by gardaí, along with his wife and children, after the 'Fingal Direct Action Battalion' and 'Anti Eviction Flying Column' gathered outside.

There have previously been demonstrations outside the residences of ministers Simon Harris, Richard Bruton and Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Kehoe told 'Morning Mix' on South East Radio that he is to meet with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to discuss the new trend.

"Children should not have to witness this, they are not in politics, they are not the elected representative of the people, I'm the elected person. The elected person has a constituency office in Enniscorthy for over 17 years now and that is where people can protest," the minister said.

He added: "I believe this is something that should be legislated against and it's becoming too prevalent that there are people protesting outside people's homes."

He said it was "an invasion of privacy" and "frightening on young people".

"I will be speaking with Minister Charlie Flanagan on this. I actually didn't think much of this but when it happens outside your own home it is totally, totally different," he said.

"It brings you to a different perspective, you understand what people go through, you understand what families go through.

"More importantly, you understand what children go through."

Minister Kehoe told presenter Alan Corcoran that he is disgusted that his family had to witness the protests.

Asked by Mr Corcoran if the protest would make him consider leaving politics, Mr Kehoe replied: "Won't say walk away, but it does question your involvement in politics and public life absolutely."

Irish Independent

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