TWO people have been arrested following protests outside the Dáil as TDs returned to Leinster House following the summer break.
Gardaí erected barriers at the entrance on Kildare Street as around 200 people gathered outside this morning.
Some protestors brought a mock gallows while others displayed signs reading 'Irish Lives Matter' with other posters branding TDs 'Traitors' and 'Corrupt'.
Meanwhile, footage shared on social media showed Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae being escorted into Leinster House by gardaí as protestors shouted 'filth', 'traitor' and 'scumbag'.
Speaking to reporters in New York where he is attending the UN General Assembly, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan called the protests a 'direct attack' on the constitution.
"We live in a democratic constitutional republic and I'm proud of our constitution and to be able to serve in one of the offices set out in it," he said.
"I think those sort of protests are a direct attack on the Irish constitution, on the republic, on the idea that we're all equal and that we're all sovereign in our country.
"How dare they."
Posters featuring Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald with the message 'Globalist Traitor' were displayed, while other signs dubbed the Taoiseach a 'Quisling'.
Images of both also adorned the mock gallows from which an effigy had been hung, with pictures of Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney and Education Minister Norma Foley also attached to the structure.
TDs and senators were reportedly told to stay inside Leinster House at one point before being escorted out by gardaí.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring National Library of Ireland said it had closed its doors to the public after the protest caused access difficulties.
'Judge for yourselves'
After footage of Mr Healy-Rae being challenged by protestors was shared online, the Kerry TD said nothing would prevent him from representing his constituents.
"I come to Dublin to represent the good people of this country," he posted on Twitter.
"Nothing will ever deter me from doing my job.
Am on opposite side of just about every issue from @MHealyRae, but this is just outrageous.
As a TD and a human being, MHR is 100% entitled to go about his business without being attacked by far right extremists who belong in jail.pic.twitter.com/C3YlBAfVM1
— John Gibbons (@think_or_swim) September 20, 2023
"I've no issue with protesting, never have, never will but you can see the videos circulating and judge for yourselves if that behaviour and use of language is acceptable."
Gardaí said that after attending a protest at Leinster House this morning, two men were arrested under the Public Order Act.