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Roderic O'Gorman

Gathering of 'masked people' outside minister's home 'chilling and disturbing', says Taoiseach

Banners featuring anti-migration slogans associated with conspiracy theories were erected outside the house.


TAOISEACH SIMON HARRIS has said he was “horrified” to see the gathering of “masked people” outside Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman’s family home last night.

An anti-migration group gathered outside the home of Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman last night which saw banners featuring anti-migration slogans associated with conspiracy theories erected outside the house. 

Politicians have condemned the “intimidating” incident.

Speaking to reporters, the Taoiseach said he was “utterly horrified to see the situation”.

“We all recognise the right to protest in democracy but when you see masked people gathering outside somebody’s family home, I think that’s extraordinarily chilling, disturbing, and quite frankly disgusting,” Harris said.

The Taoiseach spoke to Minister O’Gorman about the matter this morning, while Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has spoken to the Garda Commissioner about the garda response to the disturbance.

Harris said today: “I know that the gardaí have to assess each of these situations and I don’t wish to to interfere in that. However, I feel deeply, deeply uncomfortable that this situation was allowed to develop outside the home of any person, quite frankly, public figure or otherwise, government or opposition.”

In a statement, O’Gorman thanked gardaí for their assistance and warned that threats and intimidation towards elected officials could undermine Irish democracy.

“Ireland has a strong democratic tradition, where public representatives are accessible and accountable to the public,” O’Gorman said. 

“We debate and sometimes disagree, but do so in a way that is fundamentally respectful. I know that is valued by people across this country, and it is valued by politicians too.

“Threats and intimidation towards publicly elected representatives and those seeking election will undermine those essential qualities of Irish democracy. If we were to lose those, we would lose something very dear, and not easily recovered.”

screenshot.1713532326.77103 Minister Roderic O'Gorman © ©

In footage shared on social media, masked men could be seen appearing to stop a car from turning onto the street. 

Slogans referencing a “plantation” also appeared on the banners, a term used by Irish advocates of the white nationalist ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory

In a statement this afternoon, McEntee said: “Minister O’Gorman’s privacy and property have been violated in a disgusting and shocking manner.

“I’ve spoken to the Garda commissioner. This cannot be tolerated.”

A garda spokesperson confirmed to The Journal that they were notified shortly after 8pm last night “following reports of a public gathering involving a small group of individuals outside a private residence in the Blanchardstown area”.

“A Garda presence was maintained at the scene until the group dispersed a short time later. No arrests were made,” a garda spokesperson said.

TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum have condemned the incident. 

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore described the scenes as “disgusting”. 

“This kind of intimidation has no place in our country and democracy. You can be annoyed and angry at Govt policy but protest at constituency offices or the Dáil,” she said on social media, adding: “Leave people’s homes and families out of it.”

Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly expressed “solidarity with my kind and decent colleague doing his job, but also with every single person seeking protection in Ireland.”

Her party colleague Neasa Hourigan said she was “at a loss” as to why gardaí did not intervene in the incident. 

Former Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger condemned the “absolutely despicable harassment of a TD’s home in Blanchardstown housing estate”. 

Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin called the scenes “reprehensible” and said that the political atmosphere has turned to such a degree “that all parties are struggling to field candidates”. 

“Lines are crossed every day in how we engage in civil discourse. Those stoking this need to take a hard look at themselves.”

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said there is “no excuse for this kind of behaviour”.

“People are entitled to have different points of view and indeed to be protest about any issue they choose. But no one, not Roderic, nor anyone else, deserves to have this outside their home.”

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said she was “absolutely disgusted” and upset for Minister O’Gorman and his family. 

“I know Roderic very well, he’s an absolute gentleman and to think that he was subjected to this level of abuse is absolutely unacceptable. I consider that to be a direct attack on our democracy,” the Cavan-Monaghan TD said. 


Need more clarity and context on how migration is being discussed in Ireland, the UK and the EU? Check out our new FactCheck Knowledge Bank for essential reads and guides to finding good information online.

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