FG TD Ray Butler denies hit and run

A Fine Gael TD has denied claims he was involved in a hit and run with a protester outside his constituency office in Meath in a demonstration over repossessions.

Protesters say TD Ray Butler reversed his car into a woman on Monday night and that she later required medical treatment.

The incident is the latest where anti-water charge protesters have gathered outside politicians’ homes or offices in recent weeks.

Mr Butler yesterday described how a group of between 20 to 30 protesters had gathered outside his family home, some wearing hoods, in Trim. The group left his family shaken, he told RTÉ radio.

The TD’s wife and two daughters were in the house but he was not. His third daughter arrived later from camogie training and began to cry when she saw the protesters, he said.

Mr Butler says that the protest then moved to his constituency office, where he was working and where the alleged incident took place.

He said a female protester approached him outside the office, but he explained he needed to get home. “I went to walk over to my car and they followed me. The lady tried to get into my car but the door was locked. I then went to reverse two feet and she jumped onto my car.”

Mr Butler said that he then drove home and that there had been no reason to stay at the scene, despite the woman allegedly claiming she had been hit.

The TD said he was later told she had received treatment for bruising.

Gardaí confirmed that they visited the TD’s home that night and took a statement after the incident.

They have said a woman was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where she was treated for “non-serious” injuries.

The protest group, the National Land League of Ireland, yesterday said it had carried out a peaceful vigil at the TD’s home. The group say it picketed his home as he had “voted” in the Dáil to support the repossession of homes.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday said the protest outside the TD’s home, as well as previous rallies outside ministers’ houses, had caused “fear and intimidation”.

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