close
close

Harris says it was her children’s bedtime when protests were organized outside her home.

The Taoiseach has said it was his children’s bedtime when anti-immigration protesters gathered outside his home yesterday afternoon carrying banners and banners.

It comes just over a week after Justice Minister Helen McEntee was the victim of a bomb threat at her home which forced the evacuation of her young family.

Harris said protests outside politicians’ homes should be banned.

In images circulating on social media, several protesters gathered outside his home in Greystones carrying banners and banners. Slogans written on the posters included: “South Dublin says no” and “close the borders”. He was not at home at the time.

However, during an event in Belfast this morning he said that while he did not want to say much about the matter, he added: “I don’t like to describe that sort of thing as simply protests. I have a very clear view on this, whether it’s me, an opposition politician or, frankly, anyone.

“I always think people’s families and homes should be off limits.

“It was bedtime for my kids when this situation arose. I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Taoiseach Simon Harris with First Minister Michelle O'Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly, during a press conference outside Stormont Castle.  Image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Taoiseach Simon Harris with First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly, during a press conference outside Stormont Castle. Image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill told reporters she believes there should be “no tolerance” for protests outside people’s homes.

“It is totally inappropriate. The Taoiseach has two young sons and I think his home should be his holiness,” Mrs O’Neill said.

“I don’t think there is or should be tolerance for that kind of attack on someone’s home.”

About him News in oneHarris said he felt uncomfortable describing the gatherings as protests.

“It bothers me when I hear this described as a protest because, to me, it’s not a protest and we should in no way be trying to normalize this,” Harris said.

“It’s behavior that can be intimidating and deeply disturbing.” Harris said the Government had previously sought assurances from gardaí about whether existing laws were sufficient to deal with protests outside politicians’ homes.

“We recently asked Gardaí whether the law is adequate in terms of being able to protect people and their families in their homes.

“The Gardaí have responded yes and therefore I believe we must continue to support the Gardaí to ensure that action is taken, no matter whose home it is, because no one’s family deserves to experience that.”