Thursday 22 March 2018

Minister Kelly warned by gardai about 'dissident' death threats

Alan Kelly, deputy leader of the Labour Party
Alan Kelly, deputy leader of the Labour Party
Miriam O’Callaghan

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has been informed by gardai that death threats have been made against him by dissident republicans.

Appearing on RTÉ’s Saturday Night with Miriam, the deputy leader of the Labour Party revealed that his family and staff have also received sinister death threats since the establishment of Irish Water.

“My staff have had people ring them up and tell them that they'll be killed. All because they work for me."

The Tipperary TD said that a local garda Superintendent told him recently that he was “under threat from dissident republicans”. He said the issue understandably had repercussions for the people in his life. "It’s not good that you have to go home and talk to your family about that."

Read More: Garda chief summoned as protest descends into chaos

Describing the situation as "completely unacceptable" he denied any suggestion that threats were linked to anti-water charge campaigners, claiming there is a small group of people in Ireland who ‘just want anarchy’.

However, he said that the death threats will not deter him from doing his job, a job that he thoroughly enjoys. "I create positive change and it's worth it."

The Labour Minister vehemently dismissed criticism over the establishment of Irish Water and the introduction of water charges.

Read more: Chaotic scenes at Leinster House as protesters block Oireachtas members exit

He told O’Callaghan that he wouldn't use the word “shameful” as she had done to describe the new charge.

However he conceded that there were mistakes made during the establishment and implementation phases of the project.

“Lots of mistakes were made around Irish Water but setting up Irish Water was not a mistake." he said.

Until recent years water infrastructure wasn’t seen as “sexy enough” to attract the funding required, according to the Minister.

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