The Irish health minister was left red-faced yesterday after she was covered in paint by a hardline republican.
Mary Harney was attending a sod-turning ceremony to mark the long-awaited construction of a new primary care and mental health centre in Cherry Orchard Hospital, Ballyfermot, in west Dublin.
As she arrived Ms Harney had greeted eirigi’s Louise Minihan with a smile, not suspecting that the Dublin councillor was about to douse her in thick, red paint.
Ploughing through mud in fashionable high-heeled boots, Ms Harney was about to sink her shovel when the attack took place, leaving her trembling as the former Sinn Fein politician began a tirade of abuse. “It's time to go Mary Harney. Shame on you,” she shouted.
The minister removed her coat, by now drenched in paint, which was seeping down the neck of her dress, but insisted on going ahead with the sod-turning.
Ms Minihan was arrested and questioned by gardai.