After being called ‘Labour scum’ and spat at by an assailant while attending a funeral in Cork, MEP Phil Prendergast has vowed to battle on in her bid to be elected to the European Parliament in May.
The Clonmel-based Labour Party MEP said she was shocked and physically sickened after being spat at in the eye and felt like pulling out of politics twenty years after being elected to Clonmel Borough Council.
The former midwife had to receive medical attention over fears for the transmission of disease through the mucus membrane in the eye. The results of the tests won’t be known for six weeks.
The 54-year-old was on the way to the funeral of the father of Labour TD Ciaran Lynch.
She was approached by a person who called her “Labour scum” before spitting phlegm in her eye.
“I was walking to the funeral home on my own. I was attending in a personal capacity and my canvassing team were not with me. I was not asking anybody for a vote, my thoughts were on going into the funeral to meet the bereaved family. This was a cowardly and violent attack,” she said.
The former senator said she had never felt so violated in all her life.
“There is no way that an individual would do that to a man. Politics is one thing, but when I was walking on that street I was not a politician. I was a woman alone on a street at night and I felt like that,” she said. The MEP reported the assault to gardai who are investigating and are looking at CCTV footage on security cameras fitted to shops in the area.