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Fine Gael TD says family subject to 'vile comments' after Dáil speech

Catherine Byrne questioned people “stacking up their trolleys with drink and wine” when they refuse to pay their water charges.
Jul 7th 2015, 5:42 PM 23,947 171

FINE GAEL TD Catherine Byrne has said her family has been subject to “vile comments” in the wake of her controversial remarks about people refusing to pay water charges.

In a Dáil speech last Friday, the Dublin South-Central deputy questioned people “stacking up their trolleys with drink and wine” when they refuse to pay their water charges.

She was speaking on the Civil Debt Procedures Bill which will allow courts to order that water charges – and other debts of between €500 and €4,000 – be taken from people’s social welfare or earnings.

Source: Oireachtas/

In the wake of her remarks, Byrne said today that she and her family had been subject to abuse on social media over the weekend.

Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTÉ’s Liveline, she said: “I’m not going to debate this issue on public radio, but I will say that I’ve been in touch with the proper authorities over these vile comments made against my family.”

She insisted that her comments in the Dáil were not aimed at lone parents or those on social welfare.

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Byrne said was calling out people “who simply refuse to pay their bills when they use a service they need and can afford to pay for”.

Byrne said her comments had been taken out of context and used to attack her and her children, resulting in a “tide of abuse online”.

She said some of this abuse had been aimed at her children and she has reported it to the authorities.

Byrne added:

 I will do as much as I can to protect them, as they are my flesh and blood. I’m a public representative, so I’m use to this kind of abuse but my family, my children, have done nothing to deserve to be targeted as they have.

WATCH: Fine Gael TD hits out at people ‘stacking up their trolleys with drink’

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Hugh O'Connell


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