Pic: Grace Dyas / Twitter
Users of social media have reacted angrily to Joan Burton’s comments on the cost of technology used by protesters objecting to the installation of Irish Water meters.
"All of the protesters that I have seen before seem to have extremely expensive phones, tablets, video cameras," she said.
"There has been the most extensive filming in relation to any of these actions that I have ever seen anywhere.
"Hollywood would be in the ha'penny place compared to what's done here," she added.
Many criticised the comments as another example of the Government's detachment from the electorate.
Nothing is too good for the working class except any kind of modern technology. How very dare they? #LabourLogic— Joan Collins T.D. (@JoanCollinsTD) October 9, 2014
Reacting to the story on the Irish Examiner's Facebook page, one user said: "Most of those phones can be got for small money by signing on for lengthy contracts. They are a basic necessary tool for modern life whether you are wealthy or poor. The Minister is showing her detachment from the lives of the ordinary people with this statement."
Another said that the Government was "completely out of touch."
disgusting comments regarding people's phones from @joan_burton how dare she? Her days are numbered in government after next election— Jennie Lawlor (@jennie2758) October 9, 2014
The Labour party leader was responding to queries in the Dáil about the presence of Garda at water meter protests and the whether this was an efficient use of their time.
@joan_burton once again showing your contempt for the people of this country with your comments about water meter protestors.— Tigarooo (@TigNoon) October 9, 2014
I cannot believe #JoanBurton has said what she said today. Apart from demeaning those who pay her wages it is such a lofty position to take.— Electroboy (@PFQMUSIC) October 9, 2014
This controversy comes after an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI survey found Deputy Burton to be the most popular party leader in Ireland.
Here's a further selection of the reaction on Twitter.