We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Pat Rabbitte on RTÉ's Prime Time this evening. RTE/Screengrab

Rabbitte: The selective targeting of public figures needs to stop

TD Ruth Coppinger said people are more concerned about the arrests in relation to the Jobstown protests.

LABOUR TD PAT Rabbitte has called for the “selective targeting of public figures” to stop.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time programme last night, Rabbitte said the abuse politicians have been facing recently is unacceptable.

He admitted that public representatives have long been on the other end of anger from constituents over the years.

However, he said today it is “entirely different” as representatives’ public offices are being picketed and vandalised, in some cases.

Rabbitte said the “scurrilous stream of abuse on social media” has gone too far.

Socialist Party member Ruth Coppinger TD said in reply, that “angry protests” have taken place before, and said the public are more concerned about public representatives, like Paul Murphy, being arrested over protesting.

‘Dawn raids’

On Monday, Murphy and two of the party’s councillors, and a member of republican group Éirigí were arrested in an early-morning garda operation in relation to the protest in Jobstown last November in which Tanáiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for several hours.

Another four people were arrested yesterday, including a 16-year-old boy.

“People are concerned about dawn raids… about the concerted effort … to attack the democratic right to protest,” said Coppinger.

She added that she would not condone the abuse of politicians.

He said he was concerned about certain “elements” within the anti-water charges movement that want to “create mayhem and insult gardaí” by spitting at them and abusing them.

He said he was also concerned about the president being “dragged in to” the situation.

 It is the nastiness and the ugliness by a small number [of people].

First published at 10.42pm, 10 February 2015

Read: Gardaí met with Willie Frazer over his plans to march in Dublin>

Read: Noonan says he’s ‘pessimistic’ about a debt deal for Greece>


Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.