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Barry Cowen praised for his handling of anti-vaxxer in viral video

A video of the TD being accosted by an un-masked man has surfaced online
Clodagh Meaney

Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen has been praised for handling harassment from an anti-vaxxer.

A video which appeared online shows the Fianna Fail TD being accosted by a member of the public who follows him and asks him questions - even after Barry told him to leave him alone.

“Barry Cowen is busy,” the man said in the video.

“I'm not interested in talking to you, you can print that, write that, stay away from me,” Barry, tells the unmasked man.

“Do you support the masking…” the man begins to say before the TD cuts across him: “Of course I support it, sure haven’t I a mask on me? Of course I support it”

“Let me finish my question, do you support the masking of children 5 to 11 in school all day Barry?”

“I support the advice as given by the CMO,” he replied.

“Tony Holohan, he has a great track record of looking after other people’s health doesn’t he?”

“I’d rather listen to him than you,” Barry retorts.

“Do you support the vaccination of five to 11 year old children with an untested, unsafe, in trial…” the man began again before Barry said: “I support the use of the programme.”

Barry Cowen

Barry Cowen

The man’s question fails to acknowledge the testing that Pfizer vaccine which was recommended for five to 11 year olds went through before NIAC even approved its use.

As the pair continue to exchange words, Barry eventually comes to a stop and asks the man once again to leave him alone.

“I'm telling you now I'm not talking to you anymore just stay away from me alright, stay away from me,” he said, walking away, but the man does not give up.

“Have you got any conflicts of interest? Are you being paid by big pharma? Why are you being so hostile towards me?” he continued, “you're a public representative you've been elected by the people.”

The Offaly TD is once again forced to ask the man to leave him alone.

“I'm telling you now,” Barry began once again, wagging his finger at his harasser, “stay away from me now. I’ve no interest in talking to you.”

“I know, but I have an interest in talking to you. The people of Ireland will want to hear…”

“Get out of me face,” the Offaly man cuts in.

“Barry you're being very hostile, you're being very aggressive.”

“Yes I am, I've said to you politely I’m not interested.”

“You never said anything politely,” the man cuts across.

“I'm not interested in talking to you,” Barry asserted once again.

Protesters have turned up at the home of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Protesters have turned up at the home of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

“Well I'm interested in asking you a few questions.”

“Well I'm not fecking listening to you anymore,” Barry told him before the video cut out.

In the comments underneath the video, social media users praised Barry for the way he handled the situation.

“Go on Barry brilliant,” wrote one user.

“Wrong place wrong time, Barry Cowen was smart enough for the reporter,” added another.

“Harassing an individual as he specifically told the reporter to leave him alone,” another person wrote, jokingly adding: “He should have went into a shop with his Covid pass to avoid him!”

“Politics aside, badgering anyone in the street like this is bang out of order!”

Barry is not the first politician to face harassment by so-called anti-vaxxers.

Members of the public gathered outside the home of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in Dublin 8, three times in September and October, on the third occasion protesting against Covid-19 restrictions and vaccinations.

In October, protesters hounded Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly at his home in Co Wicklow.

HSE’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan was also targeted, as was the home of former Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Sunday World have contacted Fianna Fáil for comment.


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