Excrement thrown at Minister of State Anne Rabbitte and TD Ciarán Cannon

Galway East representatives were attending a meeting on Wednesday night when incident occurred

Bags of excrement were reportedly thrown at Minister of State at the Department of Health Anne Rabbitte and her Galway East constituency colleague, Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon, at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Ms Rabbitte initially posted details of the incident on her Twitter feed just after 8.20pm. Gardai have said they are investigating the incident.

“Attended a meeting tonight and a bag of sh.t thrown a me and my government colleague !!!,” she said.

Later on Wednesday night, Mr Cannon tweeted: “So an idiot goes to the bother of putting excrement (human or animal, yet unknown) into two bags and throws one at me and one at Anne. All part of the job you might say, but I can understand why fewer people want this job.”

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In a statement late on Wednesday night, An Garda Síochána said they were “investigating all the circumstances relating to an incident that occurred at a public meeting in Gort this evening, Wednesday 4th January, 2023″.

Neither the Junior Minister for Disability nor her spokesman could immediately be reached for comment.

Ms Rabbitte’s initial tweet drew numerous responses within an hour, with politicians from various parties condemning the reported actions.

Describing it as “shocking”, Fianna Fail Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee said “I hope this assault has been reported to An Garda. Nobody should have to put up with this.”

Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly tweeted “the way that Anne Rabbitte has been treated this evening should be called out by everyone, regardless of politics. I know Anne to be a decent and fair politician, and this should not be tolerated in our society.”

Ms Rabbitte’s Fianna Fail colleague, Dublin South West TD John Lahart replied simply: “Disgusting. Unacceptable. I’m speechless.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times