Leinster House protest an ‘attack on democracy’, says Ceann Comhairle – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Leinster House protest an ‘attack on democracy’, says Ceann Comhairle

The Ceann Comhairle said the protests outside the Dáil building last Wednesday were “direct, deliberate, and orchestrated attack on democracy”, reports RTE.

In an interview on RTÉ’s Politics This Week, Sean Ó Fearghail said that “protest is an acceptable and desirable part of the democratic process” but that protesters “were not there to serve any particular cause because they are incapable of that”, reports RTE.

Mr Ó Fearghail noted that Leinster House has 1,200 staff, including 220 politicians, as well as civil servants, advisers and members of the media, who are “all entitled to come to their place of work without being interfered with”, reports RTE.

He said he was “profoundly sad” after seeing the scenes on Kildare Street.

Following the scene, Justice Minister Helen McEntee asked the Garda Commissioner to review the security of TDs, senators and others working in the Oireachtas.

As part of this process, chairmen of parliamentary parties and groups, as well as Oireachtas staff and representatives of the media, will be asked to engage with An Garda Síochána.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Ceann Comhairle said: “It is essential that parliament is open and accessible to the people, and we have done a lot to make sure people can see what is being done on their behalf. We can no longer tolerate something that is about undermining attacking and undermining democracy and spreading hate – whether about migrants or whatever its about. Tolerating it will bring us to where America arrived at Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the last [US Presidential] election,” reports RTE.

Meanwhile, the AGSI general secretary said members maintained a calm outlook during protests outside the Dáil this week, despite the abuse and torture they faced.

Antoinette Cunningham said the increase in violence against police officers was alarming.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, he said operational commanders would review the whole incident and AGSI would consider that information if specific concerns needed to be addressed, reports RTE.

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