Gardaí are investigating a bomb threat to the Environment Minister’s office as tensions heighten over the controversial introduction of water charges.
A woman caller phoned Alan Kelly’s constituency office in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, at around 9am this morning to deliver the “menacing and threatening” warning, his spokesman said.
The caller warned the female staff member: “We’ll bomb you f**kers.”
The minister’s spokesman said the staff member was left shaken by the experience and contacted the Gardaí to make a formal complaint.
Mr Kelly, the minister with responsibility for water charges, said the call to his constituency office was "of a menacing and threatening nature.''
“This was a very traumatic and upsetting experience for all staff and the matter has been referred to the Gardaí,” he said.
“I condemn this deplorable behaviour.”
Two detectives have taken a statement and the incident is being investigated.
The woman called did not claim to represent any group or organisation but made clear the threat was linked to the imminent levy for water.
A Garda spokesman said it would not discuss the individual security arrangements of an elected representative but confirmed an incident was being investigated.
A Government spokesman said the previous environment minister had received a bullet in the post and threats to burn his house down over the household charge.
The torching of two Cork County Council water services vans in Bantry, west Cork, over the weekend is being linked by some to the growing fall-out over water charges.
Tanaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her ministerial car for around two hours on Saturday when she came under siege from anti-water charge protesters in Jobstown, west Dublin.
The Labour leader had been speaking at a graduation ceremony and was surrounded by demonstrators as she attempted to leave.
Two teenagers were arrested at the scene. One was released without charge while the other was charged with public order offences.
Mounting protests – including the taking to the streets by 150,000 people around the country earlier this month – reflect widespread anger at the latest austerity measure.
Confusion remains about the level of charges – with conflicting reports suggesting between €200 and €300 – for an average household.
Initial estimates put the levy at up to €600 a year for some families.
The Government is set to reveal this week a new charge structure.