The Justice Minister says her use of the words ‘thugs and scumbags’ in the Dáil was a “reflection of the actions that we saw” during the Dublin riots.
Helen McEntee has faced criticism today after she used the words during a Dáil debate on last week’s violence.
This morning, Senator Lynne Ruane said that language like that only creates further division between the State and disadvantaged young people who feel disenfranchised in modern Ireland.
She told Newstalk Breakfast that someone in a position as powerful as Minister McEntee’s “should lead” – and warned that if young people believe the State views them as thugs and scumbags, it is very difficult to work with them and their communities.
“It was perhaps not language that I would normally use.”
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) November 30, 2023
Speaking at the launch of the RSA Christmas Road Safety campaign this morning, Minister McEntee said her words were a “reflection of the actions that we saw” in Dublin last week.
“Look I said what I said yesterday,” she said.
“It was perhaps not language that I would normally use but it was reflecting, I think, the actions that we saw on Thursday night.
“You know, I have strong feelings on what happened and I think the people responsible for the violence and the absolute thuggery on Thursday night, they need to be brought to justice.
“What I said, I think, was a reflection of the actions that we saw.
“As I said, it is not normally language that I use but I think what we saw on Thursday night was not something we would normally see either.
“I think they need to be held accountable and I’m sure that they will be.”