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One arrested as angry protesters confront Taoiseach at elderly-care centre

Demonstrators have been accused of “thuggish” behaviour for staging their action while elderly patients were nearby.

Water Protesters - Taoiseach. Pictured Source: Sam Boal

ONE MAN WAS detained by gardaí this afternoon as angry anti water charges protesters confronted the Taoiseach at the opening of specialist day hospital in Raheny.

Around 20 demonstrators, who had been protesting the installation of water meters at nearby Tonlegee Drive, took part in the action at St Joseph’s Hospital.

They entered the grounds of the facility as the Enda Kenny was inside meeting patients and speaking to the media, and shouted chants of ’traitor’ as he left to return to his car.

Water Protesters - Taoiseach. Pictured Source: Sam Boal

The Taoiseach paused to speak to the protesters on his way out, and took the phone number of one of one man. He also spoke briefly with a woman taking part in the action.

There was a heavy garda presence at the event, and the arrest was made when a scuffle broke out as the Taoiseach’s car left the grounds.

David Hall — the well-known mortgage debt campaigner, who is also a member of the Beaumont Hospital Foundation — was at the event, and called the actions of the protesters ‘disgraceful’.

Water Protesters - Taoiseach. Pictured Source: Sam Boal

He said patients and staff had been terrorised by their “thuggish” behaviour, and suggested they should have scaled back their protest, as a number of elderly service-users were at the site.

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“I’ve no problem with protests, it’s when you’re doing so with elderly patients in the vicinity,” Hall said.

It was very upsetting for the people using the services.

A garda spokesperson confirmed a 34-year old male had been arrested at the hospital for public order offences.

He was taken to Raheny Garda Station, before being released at around 4.45pm.

First published 4.49pm

Read: Gardaí called in to support Irish Water contractors at Raheny protest 

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Daragh Brophy

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