The day that the campaign took a nasty turn

Yesterday, was the day the campaign took a nasty turn, writes Daniel McConnell
The day that the campaign took a nasty turn

It emerged that a death threat was made to Fine Gael Meath East TD Regina Doherty who was threatened with having her throat slit.

Given the serious nature of the abuse, the matter has correctly been referred to gardaí.

The threats occurred after she engaged in a heated debate with Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams on local radio station LMFM.

Ms Doherty received a series of abusive messages via text message and social media from anonymous individuals.

The prominent backbencher has met with her local superintendent and it’s also understood she has been told to take precautions in relation to her personal safety.

There was widespread condemnation of the attack.

Condemning the threats, Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton said it is a chilling reminder of Sinn Féin’s past.

“Sinn Féin needs to unreservedly condemn the death threats made against Regina Doherty, which have no place in a democratic republic,” she said in a statement.

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She added: “There is growing tendency among the media, and even in the larger political parties to shy away from reminding people of Sinn Féin’s past, instead focussing solely on their tax or economic policies.

“The reality is that that there is no other attack against a political party leader except Sinn Féin which could result in death threats being made against that person, and that’s why it is so important that Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin lead from the front in condemning this threat,” Ms Creighton said.

In response to Ms Creighton’s calls, Sinn Féin said it condemned the threats made against Ms Doherty.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, a spokesman said: “Sinn Féin condemns all threats to politicians. There can never be any justification for this type of behaviour.”

We also heard of scuffles between rival Fianna Fáil factions out in Dublin Fingal.

First time candidate Lorraine Clifford Lee was left “upset and intimidated” after she and her team were confronted by members of party colleague Senator Darragh O’Brien’s team.

Mr O’Brien insisted the matter was being blown out of proportion, but the party confirmed an investigation is ongoing into the matter following reports about an alleged incident.

Meanwhile, Labour Junior Minister Ann Phelan was in the news after her diva-esque walk out of a radio debate on Monday night.

Ms Phelan stormed out of a radio debate on local station, but yesterday explained she was “tired and hungry” when she kicked off. She returned to the airwaves on KCLR yesterday to explain her premature departure from the debate.

Ms Phelan complained about the format of the debate which involved all 15 candidates in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency.

The minister for rural affairs said that her tolerance levels are normally higher but “every time I opened my mouth I was shouted at”.

“There were huge levels of negativity. It was chaotic. We were told we were going to go to the sin bin if we shouted at other people,” she said.

“I have been on the radio debating for the last 15 years. I have never shied away form a debate. But I thought last night I am wasting my time, I’d be better off out knocking on doors.”

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