“Very difficult” to legislate against demonstrations in politicians’ homes
Minister Simon Coveney said it would be “very difficult” to pass a law to prevent protests from taking place in front of politicians’ homes.
A small number of protesters gathered outside the home of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in southern Dublin city center for a period on Sunday afternoon.
Gardaí witnessed the Dublin 8 incident where it is understood that a number of anti-vaccine protesters gathered for around an hour.
TD Social Democrats Catherine Murphy has suggested the government look into whether there is legislation that could be used for incidents like this.
She told Journal.ie that she believed in the right to protest but, “This is not protest, this is intimidation and I think we have to separate these things.”
Mr Coveney said the privacy of politicians and other public figures should be respected.
“Families, children and partners of politicians and public figures are not a fair game for aggressive lobbying. “
He said there had to be a balance between making sure Ireland is a place to host protests if needed and ensuring that a line is not crossed in terms of a protest “becoming almost a intimidation in a person’s home “.
He added: “If it is possible to legislate in this area, I am not sure to be honest… the demonstrations in the streets are a public place.
“If it’s near a person’s home, then I think it’s very difficult to legislate to prevent it.
“But I think what most people would like is some common decency here, that there are, that there are places to protest, whether it is outside politicians’ offices or in outside the Dáil or in other public places.
“And there are places where I don’t think it’s appropriate to try to impact a person’s privacy in their home.”