herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Daughter of TD ‘left panicked and crying’ after protest outside home

Ray Butler,Fine Gael deputy for Meath West arriving at Leinster House
Ray Butler,Fine Gael deputy for Meath West arriving at Leinster House
Protest outside Ray Butler's home in Meath

A TD has told how his family were intimidated and crying when a large crowd of protesters gathered outside his home while he was away.

Fine Gael Meath East deputy Ray Butler (49) said the incident happened at his Trim home last night and then moved to the office where he was at a meeting.

“I was at a branch meeting when I got a call that there was a large crowd gathering at the house,” said Mr Butler.

He added that one woman came and rang the bell to confirm it was his house and then called a group of 20 to 30 people up the road who then unfurled banners and started a protest.

Deputy Butler’s brother-in-law told the protesters that he was not in and that there were two young girls in the house.

“They started shouting and filming. In the meantime, my daughter Chloe came home from football training and she got out of the car and got panicky,” said Mr Butler.

“My brother-in-law Andrew appealed to them but they were still adamant and they stayed for at least an hour. We live in a cul-de-sac, it was so intimidating,” he added.

“I never got into politics to have this going on. I have no problem with people protesting but this is taking it too far,” he explained.

Mr Butler said that the group then moved to his office where he was having a meeting.

“The meeting was winding up. They kept ringing the door and wouldn’t leave,” said Mr Butler.

He added that as he left to go to his car a lady came up to him and he told her he was leaving.

“I’m going home to my wife and kids that you’re after traumatising and my eldest daughter is in an awful way. There is a time and a place,” Mr Butler said he told the     woman.

He said as he turned the car the woman jumped up on it, bounced off the car and said, “Oh he hit me, he hit me”.

Deputy Butler said he saw what the woman had done and his friend told him to move off so he went home.

A group calling itself the Tomas Allen 1916 society has said that at a protest at Mr Butler’s office one of the women wanted to speak to him about her recent attempted eviction, and that as she followed him he jumped into his car and reversed into her.

It also said the woman was taken from the scene by           ambulance.

Gardai have confirmed that they are investigating a reported collision between a pedestrian and a car on Finnegan’s Way in Trim that occurred last night at 9.55pm.

The group also said it took part in a silent candlelit vigil outside Butler’s home to highlight the “political policing” and to show solidarity with the water meter protesters.

Deputy Butler said that when he got home his daughter Chloe was visibly upset.

“The intimidation for the whole night... Chloe was crying and in an awful state,” he said.

“It just beggars belief, have we come to this now?”

cfeehan@herald.ie

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