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26/10/2021

Deputy McHugh describes protest outside Tanáiste's home as 'worrying'

Deputy McHugh describes protest outside Tanáiste's home as 'worrying'

Deputy Joe McHugh has said that an anti-vaccine protest which took place at the home of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is ‘worrying.’

Politicians across the country have condemned a protest held yesterday outside the home of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.  

Outrage from politicians across social media was immediate, largely due to alleged homophobic slurs used during the protest. 

Speaking on the Nine til Noon show with Greg Hughe, Deputy McHugh said he had sent a message to the Tanáiste this morning to inquire how he was.

He said: “The danger always from a democratic point of view is how potentially can that manifest itself physically and when you get groups personalising and using the language and making accusations of all sorts yesterday, on a personal basis, outside the home of a politician, it’s worrying.”

Deputy McHugh said that politicians ‘are not precious by any means’, he said: “We put our names forward, we know what is ahead of us, we know it is not a bed of roses, we know there is always going to be rumour and innuendo and gossip about politicians,” he said. 

However, the Fine Gael politician said that when the situation comes ‘to your own doorstep’ the situation changes: “It’s a red flag straight away.”

Deputy McHugh said that the issue is global and efforts  have been made at European level to try and establish accountability in relation to specific types of online commentary.

He said that he wasn’t sure what course of action can be taken in relation to the issue but added that perhaps technological companies can help. 

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