A young child is in hospital this evening after suffering an unprovoked attacked at an event hosted by NO campaigners in County Meath.
10 year old Muireann DeClár was sitting on the side of an advertising truck holding a NO campaign ad, when the event was disrupted by a gang of youths throwing missiles, including eggs.
Muireann is allergic to eggs, and she immediately suffered a severe allergic reaction. Muireann’s life was saved by her quick-thinking mother, who administered adrenalin at the scene. The child has since been hospitalised, and her condition is believed to be stable.
The incident took place at around 4:30pm this afternoon outside Navan shopping centre, where NO campaigners led by Paddy Manning were canvassing passers-by.
Responding to the incident, Mr. Manning said:
“In all my years of political activism, I have never witnessed such an act of mindlessness, or a scene so distressing. While the attackers had no way of knowing that Muireann had an allergy, they had every way of knowing that she was a child of about ten years old.
The toxic atmosphere created by the YES campaign is squarely to blame for this incident, of that, there can be no doubt. The event in question was a meet and greet, where no campaigners were trying to engage voters in friendly discussion and polite debate about the decision facing the country in a week. That the response to that engagement from some who disagree with us was to put a child in hospital is absolutely beyond the pale.
I call, immediately and in the strongest terms, for an absolute condemnation and distancing of themselves from this incident by the leaders of the Yes campaign, including those at the top of the political parties.
I would like to extend my sympathies, and the sympathies of everybody in the NO campaign to Muireann and her family. They have become the unfortunate victims of a campaign that has lost any and all sense of perspective”.