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Boyd Barrett has a duty to condemn all violence

RIGHT-ON Richard Boyd Barrett has been criticised - corrctly - for failing to outrightly condemn violent protests at the Labour Party conference.

The disturbances occurred in Galway last weekend when protesters confronted officers at the conference, forcing gardai to use pepper spray.

The Socialist Workers' Party, numbering Boyd Barrett among its (small) membership, called the gardai "thugs" -- something he has refused to condemn.

In classic 'I saw nothing' style this champion of the proletariat maintained: "I didn't see the particular incident so I can't say".

But Boyd Barrett added: "from the descriptions I heard it was somewhat unwarranted and excessive for the gardai to resort to pepper spray."

This could be dismissed as evasive rubbish if Boyd Barrett wasn't set to take over the technical group's speaking role in the Dail from Joe Higgins.

As one of the chief Opposition speakers he has a duty to outrightly condemn thuggery against gardai, or indeed any of those who serve the State.

It's worth bearing in mind that they are the same public servants who ensure the security of the very Dail of which Boyd Barrett is a member.

His failure to condemn the actions of a gang of loony leftwingers calls his own fitness to stand as a public representative into question.