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Man released from custody after Hogan's car windscreen smashed

A spokesperson for the minister described the incident as “thuggery”.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A MAN HAS been released after being arrested over the smashing of the Environment Minister’s car windscreen.

The man, who is in his early 20s, was arrested at around 3.15pm yesterday after the car windscreen was smashed, and has since been released.

The drama began yesterday when Minister Hogan was leaving a shopping centre in Athlone after an official engagement.

A spokesperson for the Minister said that as they were leaving, a crowd surrounded the car, and proceeded to shake it violently and bang on the vehicle.

He said that one of protestors said the car had rolled over his foot, and this led to the windscreen being smashed by a fist. The spokesperson said that the car was stationary at the time and could not move because of the crowd surrounding it, and denied that the person’s foot was run over.

He described those who surrounded the car as “thugs” and said they were protesting against austerity in Ireland.

Minister Hogan “has always acknowledged the right for people to have peaceful protests”, said the spokesperson, but “this was thuggery”.

Asked if security will be stepped up for the minister following this event, he said that is a matter for the gardaí. When a minister is attending a function, the gardaí take care of the security.

The incident was condemned by Dan Boyle, who said:

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