Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu has revealed that far-right protestors racially abused her outside her home and attempted to intimidate her for wearing a face mask.
Around 30 far-right demonstrators gathered outside the Mansion House in Dublin on Thursday to protest against Ms. Chu, who was born in Dublin to Chinese parents.
Protestors approached Ms. Chu on the forecourt of the Mansion House and challenged her for wearing a face mask, while one demonstrator proclaimed that she was going to "turn into a shapeshifting dragon".
At least five protestors were holding placards, Ms. Chu said, with one placard proclaiming that "our lives matter" - an attempt to ridicule the Black Lives Matter movement that Ms. Chu has been vocally supportive of.
The Lord Mayor told the Irish Examiner that she never feared that her life was in danger during the incident but that she felt "deeply uncomfortable".
"They've been calling for my resignation since I spoke about the shooting of George Nkencho. A woman stopped me and stuck her hand out, touching my body, and said: ''pleased to meet you'," Ms. Chu told the Irish Examiner.
"I said I couldn't shake her hand because of Covid, and then I realized someone was filming me."
Gardaí have confirmed that one female demonstrated was arrested for her part in the protest and later issued a €100 Fixed Payment Notice for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
Ms. Chu additionally told RTÉ Radio 1 that she fears for the safety of her daughter Alex, who is currently in kindergarten. She said that Alex has been subjected to abuse on the street, with one person calling her a "mongrel".
Ms. Chu's daughter has also received racial abuse in the mail, which told her she should be "deported to China" and "aborted there".
The Lord Mayor said that she has no issue with protests but said that she drew the line at personal insults.
"You have to have a reason. It can’t just be because you don’t like the look of me. Because I can’t change that," she told RTÉ.
She told the Irish Examiner that she was in a strange position because everyone knows where she lives.
"Not being able to leave my house for lunch is inconvenient, worrying about my child is more than inconvenient. Your job shouldn't make you worried about your family's safety," she said.
Thursday's protest was organized when far-right protestors hijacked an annual event to celebrate the Irish Republican Brotherhood's role in Irish independence.
The event had been cleared by gardaí, but far-right message boards urged people not involved in the IRB celebration to hijack the event.