Protesters held back by police outside government buidings

A protester outside Ireland’s parliamentary building, Leinster House, grabbed the Minister for Enterprise, Batt O’Keeffe, by the tie and shouted “shame on you” in his face.

The protester, in his 40s, was among a group of a dozen protesters campaigning on a number of issues. He broke away to confront the minister. He grabbed O’Keeffe by the tie and attempted to tighten the knot.

Police intervened within seconded and the Minister escaped the attack uninjured. The man was not arrested and returned to the rest of the protesters.

O’Keeffe is the third minister who has been targeted by angry protesters following the massive budget cuts. The Health Minister, Mary Harry was attacked with red paint and the Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey, had his office vandalized with the word “traitor” painted across the front of the building.