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Cork hotel 'gave into mob rule' by cancelling Fine Gael event - MEP

Deirdre Clune said she was “outraged” by the decision.

Updated: 3.50pm

MEP DEIRDRE CLUNE has criticised a Cork hotel for cancelling a Fine Gael meeting due to fears that an anti-water charges protest might develop outside the venue.

Clune described the decision of the Rochestown Park Hotel to cancel the gathering, which the Taoiseach Enda Kenny was due to attend tonight, as “disgraceful”.

“The Rochestown Park Hotel is giving into mob rule. I am outraged at this decision which flies in the face of democracy,” the Ireland South MEP stated.

“I support people’s right to protest and make their opinions heard but am appalled that the hotel has bowed to the threats of a small number of people intent on thwarting the democratic process.”

When you allow mobs to dictate whether a democratically elected party can meet to debate the issues of the day, then it is a sad day for our country.

The Fine Gael MEP added that she has “full confidence in the gardaí to protect staff and customers of the hotel in the event of any aggression”.

“All attempts to destroy our democracy with intimidation and threats of violence must be defeated,” she said.

A spokesperson for the hotel denied that they had “given into mob rule”. He added that the cancellation was not due to political reasons, either.

He told TheJournal.ie that the hotel made the decision in order to protect staff, guests and neighbours after witnessing the protest at an event the Taoiseach was attending in Sligo earlier this week.

Fine Gael Ard Fheis Deirdre Clune Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Last weekend, the Tánaiste was trapped in her car for almost three hours at a protest in Jobstown.

Some protesters have accused the gardáí of being overly aggressive at demonstrations, but Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald denied this was the case.

Originally published: 2.44pm

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Órla Ryan

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