A Dublin man has been charged with criminal damage for throwing eggs at a car the Deputy Prime Minister was traveling in, on Friday.
The altercation occurred during a protest at the Blackditch Road, in Ballyfermot, in west Dublin, where the Minister Eamon Gilmore was due to attend an event to promote the children’s rights referendum.
Gilmore and Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald had been due to address a group of children before a screening of a Unicef film “It’s About You”, which explains the upcoming children’s rights referendum. They abandoned the event after the incident.
A demonstration was planned for the events by Republican group Éirígí and People Before Profit. They were protesting against expected cuts to child allowance payments in the upcoming Budget.
Writing on Éirígí’s website, Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan encouraged locals to attend Friday’s protest and ‘show their anger’.
Minihan wrote “The protest has been called in response to recent suggestions that the Dublin Government may slash Children’s Allowance in the upcoming budget.”
She continued: “Cuts to Children’s Allowance and other social welfare payments will hit the most vulnerable in our society hardest. On the same day that the possibility of cuts to the Children’s Allowance was widely reported in the media, the Dublin government handed a further 1 billion euro to AIB. That the government would target payments that many families rely on to survive, while continuing to bailout the bankers, is absolutely sickening.”
A former member of Sinn Fein Minihan was arrested in November 2012 after she threw red paint at the Mary Harney, the then Irish Minister for Health.
According to the Irish Times, during the protest on Friday morning members of Éirigí kicked the car, before an egg was thrown on the windscreen.
“You and your cuts are not wanted here,” they shouted.
The Irish Independent reports Daniel Kelly was arrested during the altercation. The 28-year-old was brought before Judge Patricia McNamara at Dublin District Court following his arrest on Friday afternoon.
The unemployed man, from Harold's Cross Road in Dublin, was accused of criminal damage to the ministerial car, a 5-Series BMW , which is property of the Irish police force. He was also charged with breach of the peace.
Judge McNamara was informed less than €200 ($261) worth of damages was done to the car.
In a statement Minister of Justice Alan Shatter described the incident as “disgraceful behavior”.
Shatter said “such thuggery and violence cannot and will not be tolerated in a free society”.
“We all recognise the right to peaceful protest. But it must represent a new low, even for the protestors involved, that they would engage in such disgraceful behaviour designed to disrupt an event organised for children and do so with complete disregard for the affect of their actions on the children,” he said.
“These individuals clearly have no respect for democratic values, for individual rights of freedom of expression and are clearly incapable of recognising the importance of the Children’s Rights Referendum and of ensuring that both adults and children have available to them the fullest information relating to it.”
Watch the Irish Times Video report below: