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16th Feb 2019

Simon Harris says his wife and daughter were used by protestors to identify family home

Keeley Ryan

Simon Harris

“My wife is not a public figure. My three week old baby is not a public figure.”

Health Minister Simon Harris has said he believes the protestors who gathered outside his family home last weekend followed his wife and daughter so they could figure out which house was his.

Last Sunday, a group calling themselves the ‘Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group’ gathered in protest outside their house in Wicklow.

Harris explained that his wife, Caomihe, and now-four-week-old daughter, Saoirse, had just arrived home from an afternoon walk, when he was told that something appeared to be happening outside their house.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Marian Finucane show today [February 16], he added that he thinks his wife and daughter were used to identify exactly where they lived.

He said:

“I think my wife and baby had been used to identify where my house was. It’s clear to me that people had a rough idea where we lived but didn’t know specifically which house we lived in and they saw my wife walking home.

“Within seconds of my wife coming in the door they had gathered outside my house. The thing that keeps coming back to me is that they didn’t know I was in the house so all they saw was my wife and three-week-old baby.”

He said that he and his family were trapped in their house by the group “for the best part of two hours”, and questioned why they were seeking out his family home rather than protesting outside his office.

He continued:

“The first job in your home is to protect and mind your baby. We were planning on heading out that afternoon to bring Saoirse to her grandparents in Wexford.

“This was not a protest, this was a clear attempt to intimidate me and my neighbours. I think it was intimidation and thuggery. It felt like a violation, it was a violation.

“Imagine being in your house on a Sunday afternoon and feeling that you can’t leave. My wife is not a public figure. My three week old baby is not a public figure.”