A young intern in the Dáil was “shoved and pulled” by protestors and possibly had her phone stolen, according to Michael Healy-Rae TD.
Politicians, journalists and staff have been advised not to leave Leinster House following protests on the first day of the Dáil session.
Around 200 protesters held a demonstration outside Leinster House today bearing signs and banners featuring anti-immigration slogans.
Gardaí confirmed 13 people were arrested outside Leinster House today.
Rural Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae told The Hard Shoulder he had attempted to go to the IT Department of Leinster House when protestors began harassing him.
“When I tried to turn away, the crowd appeared, sort of nowhere,” he said.
Deputy Healy-Rae said he was with a young woman from the US who had just started an internship in the Dáil “to learn about Irish politics”.
“Forget about me for a minute,” he said. “Think about that young girl – she's a young girl and she was shoved, and she was pushed.
“And all I’d say is that when it started, she had her mobile phone firmly in her pocket, and when that altercation finished, her mobile phone was gone.
“It didn't fall out of her pocket because she said that that didn't happen – the girl knew from the way she had it in her pocket.
“Think about that young girl." A young intern in the Dáil was “shoved and pulled” by protestors and possibly had her phone stolen, according to Michael Healy Rae TD. @TheHardShoulder pic.twitter.com/8KZhKEImKW
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) September 21, 2023
Deputy Healy-Rae agreed with suggestions that the intern was "robbed" by the protestors.
“That’s her first experience of her first day in the Dáil," he said.
Deputy Healy-Rae said he has no problem with people saying that “politicians are doing no good” and protesting outside the Dáil - but there is no need to escalate to that level of violence.
“There is no need to be shouting dirty language,” he said.
“The language they were using and what I would call the racist language... we should have no place in society for that.
Irish Daily Mirror Political Correspondent Louise Byrne said Gardaí had set up barriers on Kildare Street ahead of the protest – but protestors moved to Merrion Street.
“They effectively blocked a load of TDs,” she said.
“There was a convoy of about 13 or 14 cars trying to get out from about 4.30pm... they finally got out about 5.50pm.
“A lot of TDs were really nervous entering and leaving Leinster House today.”