A FIANNA Fáil senator has lambasted some of the pensioners who protested at the Government’s medical card plans, saying she was “absolutely horrified” at their behaviour.
Senator Geraldine Feeney accused the pensioners of displaying “rudeness and bad manners”, and questioned the example they were setting to others.
She said the country would have been “up in arms” if a similar number of young people had been allowed into a church “to behave in such a manner”.
She was speaking in relation to the protest this week, which saw close to 2,000 pensioners gather in St Andrew’s Church in Dublin on Tuesday. At the meeting, pensioners expressed their anger at Fianna Fáil, and shouted down junior minister John Moloney.
Speaking in the Seanad on Wednesday, Ms Feeney said of the events at St Andrew’s: “I wasn’t there, but I was horrified when I watched the news last night — absolutely horrified — at the behaviour of a small percentage of our over-70s. And I just thought: What example is that sending out? I thought it was rude and bad manners what I saw.”
Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer reacted angrily to Ms Feeney’s comments, saying she was “out of touch, like the Government”. But Ms Feeney continued, saying: “That small group did not represent the people I’m in here to represent. And I have phone calls to tell me that.”
When another FG senator, Paudie Coffey, claimed she was attacking elderly people, Ms Feeney replied: “I’m not attacking the elderly, I am 100% with the elderly, but I am talking about a small group... There was no need for such rudeness and bad manners.”
To laughter from the opposition benches, she insisted: “My party is the natural party for the majority of the elderly people in this country.”
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