herald

Saturday 26 July 2014

Protesters scared my girls, says TD

DEMONSTRATORS damaged the roof of a rival's constituency office while other protesters intimidated the TD's daughters, it was claimed today.

The Sinn Fein demonstrators climbed on to Fine Gael deputy Catherine Byrne's office on Tyrconnell Road in Inchicore and caused damage to slates.

Another group of protesters also stopped outside her home in the Dublin South-Central area and chanted slogans, intimidating Ms Byrne's teenage daughters, she said.

A letter of complaint was issued by the constituency office landlord and the Fine Gael deputy will now pass it on to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

South-Central TD Aengus O Snodaigh spoke at the demonstration. He said members of Ogra Sinn Fein climbed onto the roof using a ladder as part of a "legitimate" demonstration.



Austerity

"The office is paid for by the taxpayer so I'm not sure how private or public it is," Mr O Snodaigh added.

He said the group did not cause any damage.

"It was a legitimate form of protest given the huge austerity measures implemented on the public," he added. Ms Byrne's daughter, Cllr Clare Byrne, passed the office at midday on Saturday and contacted gardai when she saw people on the roof.

The deputy said: "We are not happy. It's private property. No one has a right to enter private property and to damage it."

She had no problem with protesting but objected to the group stopping outside her home and chanting, she added.

"It really upset my two daughters. I have a different opinion about what protesting should be about.

"They stopped outside my home and intimidated my family and I will not accept that. The girls were very upset by the whole episode," she said.

Ms Byrne will be writing a letter to Sinn Fein, expressing her concern. She will remind the party "this is a law-abiding society" and that "people should adhere to the law".

The solicitor who owns her office told her his own roof, which adjoins the property, was also damaged.

The TD's daughter Clare Byrne told the Herald: "Nobody minds people protesting but they've no right to be on private property. Slates and stuff on the roof were damaged."

comurphy@herald.ie

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