MICHEAL MARTIN has led the condemnation from Irish politicians reacting to the scenes witnessed in the US where protesters stormed Congress.
Armed supporters of President Donald Trump overpowered security outside the Capitol building before making their way inside where lawmakers had met to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory.
The Taoiseach spoke of the “deep connection” the Irish people have with the United States of America and expressed "great concern and dismay" at the scenes witnessed in Washington DC.
The Irish people have a deep connection with the United States of America, built up over many generations. I know that many, like me, will be watching the scenes unfolding in Washington DC with great concern and dismay. 🇮🇪 🇺🇸
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) January 6, 2021
Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, described the chaotic scenes as “shocking & deeply sad” and hit out at President Trump for his role in stoking up anger among his supporters.
"We must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election,” he said.
Shocking & deeply sad scenes in Washington DC - we must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching!
We hope for restoration of calm. pic.twitter.com/1OdQYEB35K
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) January 6, 2021
The Minister for Further & Higher Education Simon Harris also condemned the “shocking” scenes and what he viewed as “an attack on democracy.”
"It is not a “protest”, it is a mob attempting to undermine democracy and endanger lives. We think of all our friends and family in the United States," he added.
What we are seeing on our television screens in the United States is shocking and is an attack on democracy - pure and simple. It is not a “protest”, it is a mob attempting to undermine democracy and endanger lives. We think of all our friends and family in the United States
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) January 6, 2021
Sein Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, meanwhile hit out at the “shameful scenes” which she described as a “direct attack on democracy and the peaceful transfer of power.”
A death now reported from the chaos in Washington DC. Shameful scenes. A direct attack on democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. #CapitolHill
— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) January 6, 2021
Earlier this week, Trump had urged his supporters to head to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory in what he described as a “fraudulent election”.
He doubled down on those claims during the rally held today in Washington DC to protest the election, telling supporters: “We will never give up. We will never concede.”
During the ensuing chaos inside the Capitol Building, the angry mob who forced their way inside could be heard shouting "Where are they?" Chants of “USA, USA, USA!” and "We want Trump” were also audible.
Members of congress were forced to evacuate with the occupation lasting several hours before the building was once again secured by law enforcement.
Armed officers deployed tear gas to disperse the angry crowds while one protester was shot and later died during the skirmishes.
National Guard troops were also deployed as part of a citywide curfew implemented in the immediate aftermath.