A government politician was booed and heckled when he turned up at a Cavan rally in support of jailed businessman Sean Quinn Sr.
Quinn is currently serving a sentence at Mountjoy prison for contempt of court as he battles against the collapse of his multi-billion Euro business.
More than 500 people, including Quinn’s son Sean, attended the meeting just hours after a newspaper printed photos of Quinn in jail.
Sean Jnr condemned the publication of the photos and warned: “There will be repercussions.”
Quinn Jnr maintained a low key presence at the protest when Fine Gael deputy Joe O’Reilly bore the brunt of the crowd’s anger.
Fine Gael senator Michael Comiskey, Fianna Fail deputy Brendan Smith and Sinn Fein’s Michael Colreavy also attended the meeting in Ballyconnell Community Centre.
One speaker told the crowd: “Politicians have done nothing for people in the border counties.”
Another said: “You’re here to try to save face because you’ll have to face the electorate. You have no clout and you’d be better admitting it.”
In response, O’Reilly insisted: “TDs from all parties have worked tirelessly to save jobs within the Quinn group of companies.
“We formed an all-party group in 2010 and that group worked day after day and night after night.
“We went to every imaginable organisation. We did our best to dam the river and stop the flow and we have not stopped yet.”
O’Reilly added: “I totally support the demand of the organisers that senior positions in Cavan and Fermanagh should be filled by local people.”
Sinn Fein’s Colreavy rejected a claim from one speaker that his party had changed its position on the Quinn saga, according to a report in the Irish Independent.
Colreavy said: “There has to be a serious public inquiry into Anglo Irish Bank and we’ve always said that. We need an investigation from the day it was established.
“The receivers have little or no interest in jobs remaining here and we need to put local management back into place. We are entitled to continue to fight to keep the jobs here instead of being portrayed as leprechauns.”