Sligo and the northwest have this week become the main focus for the government's promotion of a 'Yes' vote in the forthcoming Fiscal Treaty referendum.
The Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore was touring Donegal yesterday spreading the 'Yes' message. Hot on his heels was the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny who was in Sligo first visiting Ransboro National School.
However if the idea of visiting schools to talk to pupils about the treaty was thought to be an easy option the peace was shattered when the Taoiseach's state car was hit with eggs when having left Sligo he visited a school in Co Donegal.
He was met by a group of more than 60 anti-austerity protesters outside Loreto Community College in Milford.
Mr Kenny was visiting the school to present €150,000 worth of computers to pupils who won them in a national competition.
One of the eggs struck Mr Kenny’s car as he arrived at the school. Another was thrown at his car but missed as he left anhour later.
The incident was condemned by staff at the school, but no official comment was made.
One staff member said it was “disgraceful” that the Donegal Action Against Austerity had chosen to protest outside a school on what should have been a day of celebration.
However, the leader of the protest group, Micheal Mc Giolla Easpaig, defended the decision to carry out the protest. He said: “It was our duty to be here, and it is our duty to tell Enda Kenny that the people of Donegal will not be silenced.
“Mr Kenny is pushing through cuts and it will be the young people of this country who will end up paying for them for generations to come,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Kenny had refused to meet the protesters, saying Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald had met the group recently. “I couldn’t meet them today because of the schedule and I’m sorry I couldn’t but they have met two Ministers and there may be a chance to meet these people in the future,” he said.
The newest high-profile member of Fine Gael,
Pat Cox, pictured left
, will be in Sligo this weekend to advocate a 'Yes' vote. Mr Cox who was 'parachuted' into the presidential election failed to receive the party's nomination who instead chose MEP Gay Mitchell with disastrous results.
The former President of the European Commission, who is married to a Sligo woman, is scheduled to speak in the Southern Hotel on Sunday night.
Fianna Fail supporters have been texted an invitation by Senator Marc MacSharry to attend the meeting but it remains unclear what role FF has in bringing Cox to Sligo.
He had previously contested elections for Fianna Fail, the Progressive Democrats and as an independent.
In Sligo, the children of Ransboro were delighted to greet the Taoiseach with enthusiastic high fives and singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for him from their recent musical production of "Dorothy in the Land of Make Believe".
'High-Fiving' a group of children from Ransboro National School
A group of 6th class children asked the Taoiseach why he was advocating a 'Yes' vote in the upcoming fiscal treaty, and he explained patiently his thinking on the matter.
No homework for last night was given to all in celebration of the visit.
A group of Ransboro NS children with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny,
Mrs. Breda O Rourke (Deputy Principal) and Siobhan Clarke(Principal)