Belfast Telegraph

Protester grabs minister by tie

A Government minister has been confronted by a protester who grabbed him by the tie outside Leinster House.

Batt O'Keeffe, Enterprise Minister, was abused by a man in his 40s who screamed "Shame on you" in his face.

The man had been among a group of about dozen protesters campaigning on a number of issues when he broke off to confront the minister. He grabbed Mr O'Keeffe's tie and attempted to tighten the knot.

Gardai on duty at the front of Leinster House intervened within seconds, restrained the protester and separated him from the minister, who was not injured.

The man was not arrested and returned to his protest.

Mr O'Keeffe is the third minister to be targeted in angry protests over the massive budget cuts after Health Minister Mary Harney had red paint thrown over her and Transport Minister Noel Dempsey's office was badly vandalised.

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