THE LEADERS OF Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both encountered hostile receptions while on the campaign trail this morning.
Enda Kenny was heckled by protesters in Waterford, while Micheál Martin was confronted by a small group of anti-austerity demonstrators in Crumlin, south Dublin.
The Fianna Fáil leader was visiting the constituency office of the party’s Dublin South-Central candidate Catherine Ardagh in Crumlin village.
He was confronted by several people with a banner who shouted:
Labour, Blueshirts, Fianna Fáil – jail, jail, jail them all.
AFP reporter Naomi O’Leary reported that Martin was ‘chased’ out of the area.
But a Fianna Fáil spokesperson who was with Martin said this was not the case.
Martin’s car was briefly blocked from leaving the village, but this lasted for less than a minute, they said. The spokesperson added that the whole incident was “no big deal”.
The Cork South-Central TD later accompanied Ardagh on a visit to Assumption Junior National School in Walkinstown and Martin is now doing a door-to-door canvass in the area.
Enda in Waterford
Meanwhile, in Waterford, several protesters had to be moved by gardaí as the Taoiseach left the Eistech facility on the outskirts of the city.
As gardaí sought to keep demonstrators back from Kenny’s departing car, an elderly woman was knocked to the ground.
RTÉ’s Pat McGrath captured the incident:
Demonstators were heard shouting: “No way, we won’t pay! No way, we won’t pay!”
Others chants included: “Coffey, Coffey, Coffey – out, out, out.” – a reference to the sitting Fine Gael TD and junior minister Paudie Coffey.
Kenny is due to give an interview to RTE’s Six One News this evening.