Sunday 18 August 2019

'Children should not have to witness this, they are not in politics' - minister calls for ban on protests at people's homes

Demonstration: Paul Kehoe’s family home was targeted. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Demonstration: Paul Kehoe’s family home was targeted. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A MINISTER whose home was targeted by protesters at the weekend is to seek new laws to protect politicians.

Defence Minster Paul Kehoe was escorted from his Wexford home by gardaí, along with his wife and children, after a group calling themselves 'Dublin Fingal Battalion' gathered outside.

The group has previously staged 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 believes that legislation should be introduce because “it’s becoming too prevalent”, “it’s an invasion of privacy” and “frightening on young people”.

“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,” Mr Kehoe said.

“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.

“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.”

Asked  by presenter, Alan Corcoran, if the protest would make his consider leaving politics, Mr Kehoe replied: “Won’t say walk away, but it does question your involvement in politics and public life absolutely, I’d be telling you a total black lie if I didn’t say that because I never brought my own family... I never put up photographs of my kids online.. on Facebook or Twitter because I want to protect them from the public life that I lead.”

Read more here: Protesters force minister and family to evacuate their home

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section