‘An attack on our democracy’: Minister says intimidation of politicians drives more people away

Heather Humphreys said the scenes of people outside Roderic O’Gorman’s home were unacceptable

The Minister for Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys, says that people are being driven out of politics because of increased incidents of intimidation and harassment.

The Minister was speaking in Galway today where she unveiled a €30 million investment in 12 different community centres across the country.

She described the incident which took place outside the house of Minister for Integration, Roderic O’Gorman on Thursday last as “absolutely disgusting” and said it was an attack on democracy and an attack on the people.

“It is very concerning to see what happened to Roderic O’Gorman’s house. I was absolutely disgusted to think that people could take the time and effort to do such things, it is awful. To see those despicable posters put up, I totally, totally condemn it,” she said.


“I welcome the fact that the Minister for Justice [Helen McEntee] is speaking to the Garda Commissioner [Drew Harris] about the issue.

“It does put people off getting involved in politics. No doubt about it, nobody wants this. Whatever about the candidate themselves, I put myself up for politics and I accept that I am going to get criticism, but it is not right to go to your home and put your family in it. They didn’t put themselves up for election, people should remember that.

“There is a right to protest, everyone accepts that, everyone acknowledges that, but there is a place that people should not be going and that is to people’s homes.”

Ms Humphrey’s said that any attack on elected representatives amounts to an attack on the people who elected them.

I think everyone needs to be aware that if someone puts their name forward and is elected, they are the people’s representative

“This is going to be investigated by the gardaí. We will have to see the outcome of that and I don’t want to say anything that would prejudice any investigation,” she said.

“But this is not just the politicians. I think everyone needs to be aware that if someone puts their name forward and is elected, they are the people’s representative. We are there to represent the people.

“If you are going to attack those who put their names forward, those who get elected, those who have the honour of holding a high office, then that ultimately is an attack on our democracy. It is an attack on the people who sent their representatives to our national parliament.”