Prendergast 'deeply shocked, physically sickened' by Cork assault
MEP Phil Prendergast has said she was "deeply shocked and physically sickened" by an assault this week in Cork city centre when she was on her way to a funeral home.
The Labour MEP for Ireland South said she was approached by an individual who told her she was "Labour scum" before drawing phlegm and spitting in her eye.
Ms Prendergast reported the incident to gardaí and received medical attention after fears were raised of the potential for the transmission of disease through the mucus membrane in the eye. The results of the tests will not be known for six weeks.
Speaking for the first time today, Ms Prendergast said: "I have never felt so violated in all my life. I was walking alone at night through the city on my way to the funeral home when this individual approached me, called me "Labour scum" and proceeded to draw phlegm and spit at me in the eye.
"In all my years in politics I have never heard of, yet alone directly experienced, this type of human violation. I am deeply shocked by the incident and physically sickened.
"Politics is one thing, but when I was walking on that street I was not a politician, I was a 54-year-old woman alone on a street at night, and I felt like that."
She added: "I think this type of extremism is abhorrent. There is no way that individual would do that to a man.
"To be honest, I felt like immediately pulling out of politics once and for all but that would be giving that individual exactly what he wanted.
"I stand for the kind of politics where we debate issues, where we try to do the best for people and where depending on how successful we are, we are voted in or voted out. This type of behaviour has no place in a republic or a democracy."
"Gardaí in Anglesea Street are aware of an incident which occurred at a funeral home at approximately 4pm on April 2," according to An Garda Síochána.