herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

President asked back to site of protester abuse

Finglas Village Renewal committee members: Sean Mooney, Vice Chair and Michael Yeates.
Finglas Village Renewal committee members: Sean Mooney, Vice Chair and Michael Yeates.

President Michael D Higgins has been invited to return to Finglas two months after he received a slew of abuse from water protesters.

Residents of the North Dublin suburb are hopeful that President Higgins will visit allotments in April. His appearance has yet to be confirmed.

Water protestor Derek Byrne caused uproar in January after he barraged the President with insults as he left a school branding him a "midget parasite".

Subsequently, a number of locals sent letters to the President apologising for the way he was treated.

According to locals, his staff have responded thanking them for their kind words on his behalf.

The Finglas Village Renewal Partnership (FVR) has also apologised "unreservedly for the actions of a small group of troublemakers".

FVR spokesperson Sean Mooney has said the community was left "disgusted by a certain individual's behaviour".

Mr Mooney insists that Byrne's comments do not represent those of the natives.

In a letter to the President Mr Mooney said: "I wish to apologise on behalf of the people of Finglas for the behaviour of a small number of people during your last visit.

"These individuals insulted not only your integrity but also the position of Uachtarain na hEireann. Their views do not represent those of our community.

"Most of these so-called protesters are not even from the area," he added, "We don't want to be tarred with the same brush as them."

In the letter, the group also extended an invitation to Mr Higgins to return to the area.

hnews@herald.ie

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