Besmirching the tricolour at our national parliament

The scenes outside the Dáil yesterday, with the return of TDs to the Dáil, were disgraceful.

What Miriam Lord described as a “micro-rabble” engaged in aggressive, jostling behaviour with the elected representatives and the Gardai and prevented TDs and Dáil workers from leaving the premises of our national parliament for hours yesterday evening.

This crowd, chanting “Ireland for the Irish”, and protesting against a wide range of things, if any topic of protest could be identified, forced the Gardai to escort elected representatives from the Dáil premises.

This crowd, with not a single vote between them, have been emboldened by the way they have been treated in various protests around the country as they have not been challenged with the full force of the law.

It is a shocking embarrassment in a democratic country and a problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.

Protest in a democracy is welcome and a healthy thing. But the type of thuggery these people engage in-hanging effigies from gallows and so on-and aggressively approaching elected representatives is just not on.

And one of the most shameful aspects? The number of these individuals who are waving tricolours around the place.