Paschal Donohoe among vast majority of politicians who have been threatened

Paschal Donohoe Among Vast Majority Of Politicians Who Have Been Threatened
The Fine Gael minister said he has been threatened on a ‘small number of occasions’ and that the intensity of the threats had increased recently. Photo: PA Images
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Cate McCurry, PA

Around 94 per cent of politicians who responded to a survey about abuse said they have experienced some form of threat, harassment or violence.

The survey also found that some 72 per cent of political staff have also had similar experiences.


Recommendations from the survey, which was carried out by UCD and commissioned by the Oireachtas, will be published later on Wednesday.



Less than 30 per cent of the 220 TDs and Senators took part in the survey.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said he has been threatened on a “small number of occasions” and that the intensity of the threats has increased in recent times.

Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday, the Fine Gael minister said that while the majority of people are “perfectly civil”, there are a small number of people who are feel “they have a licence to say and do things”.

“I was standing outside Westland Row [Garda] station this morning at 8am and I would have met and engaged with hundreds of commuters and the overwhelming majority of them are perfectly civil, engaging, respectful and understanding of the work that politicians do,” he said.


“I don’t think we should lose sight of that in the discussion that we are having around politics.

“It is the case that there is a small number of people that are angrier than they used to be, that feel they have license to say and do things that hasn’t been the case before.



“But the overwhelming majority of people don’t engage in that behaviour and don’t condone it. We need to protect politicians and our political system from the risks of that small number of people, but continue to have an openness and ability to engage with voters across the country that I believe is a huge strength of Irish politics.”

He said that those who abuse and threaten politicians and political staff are a “serious problem”.

He added: “I, like any other politician, have had to deal with some abuse during my time as a member of government and as a member of the Dáil that was heightened by the pandemic.


“Those two years have left an imprint in our society that I believe have amplified an anger and a feeling about the Dáil from a very small number of people.

“I’ve had to contend with that, but as I said, it comes from a small number of people, and the overwhelming majority of people engage very civilly, really appropriate with politicians.

“If we don’t keep on acknowledging that, we’re going to further diminish the number of people who are willing to come into politics.”

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