Allegations of a hit-and-run against Fine Gael TD Ray Butler, top, in Finnegan’s Way in Trim, Co. Meath were shared across Facebook and Twitter last night, above, prompting RTE reporter Mícheál Lehane to tweet…
This morning, Mr Butler denied the allegations made online.
He told Newstalk Breakfast that around 20 to 30 protesters went to his home last night while he was in his constituency office. He said his wife, his wife’s brother, Andrew, and two of his daughters, aged 9 and 11, were at home at the time before another daughter returned home. He said the protesters eventually moved to his constituency office at around 9.15pm or 9.30pm.
Ray Butler: ‘They came down to my constituency office, there was only 8 of them, 7 or 8 of them arrived at my constituency office. And the same woman that had rang my doorbell, I could see her on CCTV. She was ringing the doorbell of the constituency office and wouldn’t let her finger off it. So basically the [branch] meeting was over at this stage and John Tobin and councillor Noel French went down to her, to talk to her, to say, ‘well, listen, he’ll talk to you, give the office a ring and he’ll meet up with you any time’ and all that. So..”
Chris Donoghue: “So you decided you weren’t going to go out to the 7 or 8 people?”
Butler: “I was, I was, I wasn’t, we were going to leave the office. So as I went down, I went down with a group and I went down to close the door, Chris, and I was locking the door and this lady came up and she said to me, ‘oh Ray, you know me, you know me, you know me, I’m from Kells.’ Now I am originally from Kells. I haven’t lived in Kells for the last 28 years and ‘you know me, you know me’ and I said, ‘listen, there’s no problem’ and she said, ‘I rang, I rang to book an appointment and all of that’ and I said, ‘well listen, you can ring me any time to meet me for anything, anything.”
Donoghue: “OK, Ray, I want to actually talk about the allegation that’s made against you. That you got into your car..”
Butler: “Yes, I’m coming to that Chris…”
Donoghue: “And you reversed..”
Butler: “I’m getting to that Chris, so I locked the door anyway Chris and I said, I’m going up to my wife and kids and all of that so I went over, I walked across the road over to the stockhouse and my son, Noel French and John Tobin came with me. So this lady followed me with her friends. I got into the car, I locked the car, I moved the car two feet, to straighten it, to move out. This lady, the car was stationed. John Tobin was there and Noel French. I could see her in the rearview mirror. She jumped on the back of the car, jumped on the back of the car and a thud and I looked at her, seen her and John Tobin said, ‘she’s after jumping on the back of the car, Ray.'”
Donoghue: “Are you 100% that you didn’t, however gently, hit her as opposed to jumping..”
Butler: “Absolutely, the car was in the one place, Chris. The car was in the one place and John said, ‘Ray you better move off’ because it was so intimidating.”
Donoghue: “Was she on the ground though when you moved off?”
Butler: “No, she was never on the ground. She was standing because John Tobin was right beside her and if I did hit her, I would have also hit John Tobin because he was right beside her. So that is total…”
Donoghue: “So you went home basically?”
Butler: “I went home…”
Later, Mr Butler said he had ‘absolutely no drink’ yesterday.
Listen back in full here