independent

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Gardai called to Minister Kehoe's home

Protestors and gardaí outside the home of Minister Paul Kehoe
Protestors and gardaí outside the home of Minister Paul Kehoe

Brendan Keane

The gardaí in Enniscorthy went to the home of Minister Paul Kehoe at the weekend as a result of placard bearing protesters gathering outside his residence.

The small group of protesters, a 'flying column' and 'anti-eviction flying column' from the Fingal battalion direction action group, held up a banner highlighting the protest was part of their 'bring it to their doors' campaign.

Speaking to this newspaper, Minister Kehoe said he had returned to his home from participating in the Hope and Dream 10 fundraising event and had just finished lunch with his family when the protesters arrived.

'They arrived about 1.45 p.m. and we were going out for the afternoon anyway but they blocked my driveway,' said Minister Kehoe.

'The gardai arrived and they then spread out on both sides of the driveway,' he added.

'We left at about 2.30 p.m., and I believe they left at about 3 p.m.'

Minister Kehoe is very protective of his family and tries his best to keep them away from the spotlight and isolated from his life in politics.

'I've always tried to keep the children isolated from my work but it's hard to do that when protesters and the gardai are outside your home,' he said.

Condemning the action of the protesters he said he has 'no difficulty at all' with legitimate protests taking place - as they do outside his constituency office.

However, with regard to bringing a protest literally to his driveway he said: 'I condemn that 100 per cent.'

'I was leaving my house anyway for the afternoon but the children were in the car and saw them,' he said.

A spokesperson for Enniscorthy gardai confirmed that members went to the scene to observe the situation.

'There wasn't any direct confrontation and the gardai were there as observers,' said the spokesperson.

'They were there holding placards and Minister Kehoe was leaving anyway and they [the protesters] left shortly after he did,' he added.

The incident was one of a number of similar protests staged by the anti-eviction group in recent weeks with both Minister Simon Harris and Paschal Donohoe also being targeted in a similar manner with protests being held outside their homes.

Gorey Guardian

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