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Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny Mark Marlow via RollingNews
Security

SF's Kenny says his family was traumatised after arson and vehicle attacks at their home

The TD told Morning Ireland that his family are moving house due to the trauma of attacks on their home.

SINN FÉIN’S SPOKESPERSON for Justice, Martin Kenny, condemned an alleged incident perpetrated against fellow TDs Anne Rabbitte and Ciaran Cannon this week, as he opened up about his own experience with security concerns.

A Garda investigation is currently underway following the junior minister’s claim that a bag of excrement was thrown at her and Cannon on Wednesday.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Kenny said the incident was “a new low in the way people behave.”

“It’s outrageous, and displays a terrible ignorance on behalf of anyone who would prepare before they come to a public meeting  to attack a public representative in that way.”

“I think there has been a development over a number of years now, a small cohort of people seem to think that the more outrageous they can be, the more aggressive they can be, that somehow it’s a badge of honor.

“We have a society that generally has had manners in the past, and it’s very regressive that that has disappeared.”

The TD was asked how the issue related to his own experiences as a politician, referring to a man who was arrested in September after a car was driven through the gates of the home of Kenny’s home.

“It has had a major impact because it has been a huge trauma. We live in a quiet rural area and a great community. But our house is quite near the road. We feel very vulnerable. Our safety has been violated a number of times now and we’ve made the decision that we’re going to sell and move somewhere else,” Kenny stated.

It’s understood that the vehicle drove through the closed gates of the property, narrowly missing the house.

Shortly after the incident Kenny told Leitrim Live that his wife was alone in the house at the time. 

“Our children are a little bit older, there’s three of them in college. So if I’m away at night, during the week in Dublin when the Dáil is sitting she would be at home alone. So I’m not able stay in Dublin since this incident happened because she’s not at all comfortable staying in the house on her own,” he continued.

In 2019, the TD’s car was set on fire outside his home in a targeted attack. Nobody was injured in the fire. 

Kenny has also submitted death threats he received to Gardaí following a speech he made about asylum seekers in the Dáil Chamber during the same period.

“We have decided to deal with this by moving house, we’re putting as positive a light on it as much as we possibly can.”

When asked if the attacks on his home made him reconsider a life in politics, Kenny said:

“We talked about everything I suppose. And it is something that we’ve talked about certainly. We recognize that being elected, representing the community, representing this constituency is a privilege and an honor.”

“While we may have to change where we live for very practical reasons, I’ve certainly had no intention of backing away from the commitment I made.”

Kenny also celebrated the accesibility of politicians to the public and said that he agrees with measures to increase security for politicians.

“Where that can happen, that should certainly be advanced.  Our public representatives who are in a vulnerable position or a dangerous position should certainly be protected.” 

“All of us in politics are delighted to be able to be so accessible to the public. And we should continue to do that. We shouldn’t allow a tiny minority of people to undermine that or take that away.”

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