ROSCOMMON Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan told today how he had been threatened with a bullet in the head over his support for the government in the vote to retain A&E services at Roscommon Hospital.
The representative, who voted against a Sinn Fein motion calling for the retention of facilities, revealed today that he had suffered a lot of abuse.
“I got a phonecall from a man who said that he would put a bullet in my head. People spat at me yesterday,” he told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio.
His constituency colleague Denis Naughten, who voted for the motion, is almost certain to lose the Fine Gael whip and become an Independent TD.
Mr Feighan bore the brunt of his constituents' anger outside the Dail last night as up to 1,000 people demanded the Government fulfil its hospital election promises to maintain the hospital.
Mr Feighan was forced to take cover in Buswell's Hotel as protesters called for his resignation yesterday.
Mr Feighan said he supported Enda Kenny despite the decision to shut the A&E. "I will go by my heart and by my head and deliver what I believe is the right thing," he said.
Campaigner Mike Higgins called on him to "vote with his conscience".
Mr Higgins, originally from Tulsk, Co Roscommon, had flown from Toronto to join the protest.
"I want him to go in and remember the promises he made. Some of my family may die because of it," Mr Higgins said. "I felt I wanted to be here."
Martin McLoughlin (56), from Mount Talbot, had a stroke five years ago.
"I was rushed to Roscommon Hospital," he said. "The doctors saved my life; I was only four miles from the hospital. They said I wouldn't make it to Galway."
The Government's honeymoon period went home in an ambulance yesterday. Enda just wasn't feeling the love anymore -- in the Dail there was heated talk of broken promises; mutinous mutterings had begun to emanate from a couple of anguished Fine Gael deputies; and the first substantial public protest against the new administration made its robust debut outside the gates of Leinster House.