Protesters gather outside the home of Minister for Finance

Paschal Donohoe attending jobs event in his constituency when he learned of situation

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was escorted out of a jobs event early when he learned of the protest. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was escorted out of a jobs event early when he learned of the protest. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

Protestors gathered outside the home of the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on Sunday.

Mr Donohoe was attending a jobs launch in his constituency of Dublin Central when officials informed him of the developing situation.

He was escorted out of the event early when he learned of the protest.

It is understood Gardaí were made aware of the situation and were monitoring the protest, which ended quickly.

The protest was organised by the same group who protested outside the homes of the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton last month.

In a Facebook post, the Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group” said “today we’re outside the home of failed finance minister Pascal Donohoe. Pascal has taking the blame for his incompetent friend Simon for the over spending in the children’s hospital.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Donohoe said the Minister did not wish to comment on the issue “except to thank the gardaí for their co-operation and work.”

Gardaí confirmed they attended “the scene of a protest outside a house in Drumcondra, Dublin 9 today the 10th March 2019 at approximately 1.30pm. Protestors have left the scene peacefully and enquiries will be carried out”.

The Minister for Business Heather Humphreys condemned the protest. “I don’t think it is appropriate, though I agree with people’s right to protest, I don’t think it is necessary to protest outside people’s houses and obviously this is something that people have done in the past and we all condemn it. I would say that they should confine their protests to a public area rather than going to people’s private houses.”

Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon described the demonstration as “thuggery.”

“If, like me, you disagree with the politics of Fine Gael, then organise to remove them from office through democratic process. March on the institutions of the State, knock or leaflet doors with information you believe (to be) pertinent,” he said.

Also last month a different group, understood to be made up of right-wing “Yellow Vest” activists protested outside the apartment complex of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Castleknock. About six protesters demonstrated at the gates to the complex.

The protest outside the home of Mr Harris, on a Sunday afternoon, was widely condemned by politicians and groups from across the political spectrum,

Mr Harris said days later those who gathered outside his house used his wife and baby to identify which house was his. He said his wife had been walking with their newborn daughter and he believed she was followed to his house by protesters, who had recognised her.

“This wasn’t a protest. It was a clear attempt to intimidate my family and my neighbours,” he said. “It felt like a violation. It was a violation.”