herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Protesters block Tanaiste's car as she tries to leave event

Joan Burton in her car in Clondalkin today.
Joan Burton

PROTESTERS brought traffic to a standstill in Clondalkin, Dublin this morning when they attempted to blockade a car in which Tanaiste Joan Burton was travelling.

Dozens of people surrounded Ms Burton’s car as she left a Skills for Work Week event in Fonthill Retail Park at midday.

There was a strong Garda presence as Ms Burton’s car was forced to slow to a crawl, bringing vehicles behind to a stop while the protesters chanted.

Ms Burton was delayed for about 15 minutes before the crowd dispersed and let her through.

It is the second time the Tanaiste has been targeted by anti-water charge protesters.

The Labour Party leader was at the centre of the infamous protest in Jobstown, west Dublin, last year during which she was held in her car for almost three hours.

During that incident, Ms Burton had been attending a graduation at a further education college when a large group of protesters assembled.

The incident has been the subject of a garda investigation and resulted in a number of arrests last month. Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy was among those arrested.

Last week, Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan was left stuck in her ministerial car at a north Dublin school for over 40 minutes as a demonstration took place outside.

About a dozen protesters blocked Ms O’Sullivan and junior minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin from leaving the vicinity of Gaelscoil Reachrann in Donaghmede.

Ms O’Sullivan was visiting the school about a building project. A spokesperson for the minister said the protest was “peaceful” but that she was delayed for 40 minutes.

Protesters also assembled at the Labour Party’s conference in Killarney last weekend and at Fine Gael’s meeting in Castlebar earlier in February.

hnews@herald.ie

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