TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY was subjected to angry protesters on a visit to Athlone yesterday with one accusing him of forcing his children to emigrate.
In another confrontation, Kenny told a protester: “You could do with a day’s work, I’d say” when told to “take the bridge, head west and stay there” amid acrimonious scenes on a visit to the Golden Island Shopping Centre in the Westmeath town.
A man identified in today’s Irish Times as Peadar Doyle confronted Kenny as he arrived at the shopping centre during canvassing for a Yes vote in the upcoming Fiscal Compact referendum.
Doyle told the Taoiseach: “Back in 1958 I was forced out of this country. You are now forcing my children and my grandchildren out of this country.”
As the Taoiseach rejected the charges and insisted his government was trying to rectify the situation, Doyle responded that “they’re going to have to go, they’re leaving because there is nothing here for them.”
Doyle said that he had not paid the household charge and that he didn’t mind if he was breaking the law as he had paid €60,000 in taxes. Kenny responded that a “€2 a week is not beyond your capacity if you paid €60,000 in taxes.”
In another confrontation with Gordon Hudson, the head of the campaign against Household and Water charges, Kenny was told by Hudson: “Take the bridge, head west and stay there” to which the Taoiseach responded: “You could do with a day’s work, I’d say.”
The Westmeath Independent provides a full transcript of the brief exchange.