Councillor speaks out after confrontation with strangers at church and home

Story by Ann Casey

Friday, 10th May, 2019 12:15pm

Councillor speaks out after confrontation with strangers at church and home

Following two incidents of harassment in the last few weeks, Trim's Cllr Caroline Lynch, has spoken out about the need for politicians to  have privacy in their own homes.

The Sinn Fein councillor experienced two nasty incidents in recent weeks - one in which she was aggressively confronted in her own church by a stranger and another when a man acted in a threatening manner toward a member of her family in her home.
“Like all politicians I am well able for robust confrontation and political debate, but I feel that politicians are entitled to privacy in their own homes and when involved in something personal like attending mass.
“Politicians need to be more open about this kind of thing happening. Even politicians need privacy, just like everyone else. 
“I would urge other public representatives to speak out if they are intimidated in their homes. Everyone has a right to privacy,” she said.
The first incident was a few weeks ago when Cllr Lynch was at mass in her local church in Rathcairn.
“Mass was finished, but I was still inside the church when woman from outside the parish confronted me and asked if I was Caroline Lynch.
“When I said I was, she told I had no right to be going to communion as a member of Sinn Fein because of the party's 8th Amendment stance.”
“It was a very nasty experience at mass in my own community, but I was lucky that my community rallied round me at the time,” she recalls.
“They were very angry.”
The second occasion was about two weeks ago when a man came to her home.
“A man came from quite a distance away and was banging on doors in the neighbourhood, looking to see where I lived. Some of my neighbours were very upset.
“He eventually got to the house. I wasn't there, but he met a family member there and behaved quite aggressively towards her and she was frightened.”
Cllr Lynch reported both incidents to the gardai. “I was concerned for the second individual as I felt he needed help and I thought the best was to get the gardai,” she says.
“I am well able to take abuse in the public realm, but when it crosses the threshold of the family home it is another matter.
“Politicians are citizens with civil liberties and rights just like everyone else,” she said.