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Hermann Kelly of the Irish Freedom Party. Alamy Stock Photo

Complaint to EU Parliament security staff over leader of Irish Freedom Party

It is alleged a physical altercation took place between Hermann Kelly and a journalist at a Parliament building last month.

A COMPLAINT HAS been filed against the leader of the Irish Freedom Party Hermann Kelly with the European Parliament after an alleged altercation with a journalist at a Parliament building last month.

It’s alleged the politician, who is standing as a candidate for the far-right party in the Midlands-North-West consituency in June’s EU elections, knocked a phone out of the hand of Brussels-based journalist Thomas O’Reilly as the reporter began recording. 

The complaint, seen by The Journal, claims that Kelly approached the journalist after a verbal altercation between them and knocked O’Reilly’s phone from his hand after he began recording the incident.

O’Reilly, who works for the European Conservative outlet, said in his complaint that Kelly had challenged him to a fight before he attempted to begin recording.

The journalist’s phone was partially damaged after the altercation, the security complaint notes. The complaint goes on to state that O’Reilly has made a statement to police on the matter. 

Kelly now works as a press officer for Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes in Brussels, and was previously employed by UKIP leader Nigel Farage. 

In an emailed response to The Journal Kelly said that if he was provided evidence that there has been a complaint or investigation he would be happy to respond, adding: “So far, I’ve heard nothing.”

In an earlier comment to The Irish Times on the reported incident he said: “I also have an impeccable working and behaviour record after 15 years working in the European Parliament.”

The allegation by O’Reilly, Kelly told the paper, was “completely false”. 

Asked about the complaint, a spokesperson for the parliament said they could not comment on potential individual cases.

O’Reilly declined to comment to The Journal on the incident but confirmed he stood over the wording in the security complaint.