February 28, 2021

‘Morons’ – Waterford minister and new TD call for people who spit on gardai and health workers to face jail time

Waterford Minister of State John Halligan has called for “the full weight of the law” to be used against people who engage in social media challenges which endanger public safety.

Mr Halligan spoke out following reports of gangs of youths coughing in strangers’ faces in an attempt to frighten them.

In one local incident, a young man was arrested after he coughed into the face of a Garda in Dungarvan earlier this week.

Mr Halligan condemned anyone taking part in the so-called ‘coronavirus challenge’.

He added: “A number of incidents have been recorded in Dublin, Kildare and in my own constituency of Waterford.

“I am beyond disgusted that these irresponsible acts should be taking place at a time when there is considerable and justifiable public concern over the coronavirus outbreak.

“I believe an older couple were one of the targets for this which is even more egregious.

“Unprecedented measures have been taken by the government in order to contain the outbreak and to have morons flouting this for entertainment is reprehensible.

“I am calling for the full weight of the law to be brought down on those who threaten public safety.”

Mr Halligan’s call was echoed by new Independent Waterford TD Matt Shanahan.

Deputy Shanahan posted a message on social media accompanied by a pair of handcuffs (pictured above), saying: “News of people deliberately spitting on emergency personnel and healthcare workers is a new low.

“In one case the person who spat is a confirmed Covid case where the health worker is now in isolation awaiting test results.

“In Dublin last week a young healthcare worker tragically lost their life to this illness.

“At a time when we are offering prisoners temporary release there people where found guilty should have to spend ‘time inside’ for this behaviour.

“Our medical teams, nurses and support staff are heroes – let’s treat them as such,” Deputy Shanahan added.

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