- 13 Sep 18
Ruth Coppinger has spoken for the first time, in a major Hot Press interview, about a bizarre harassment case in her west Dublin constituency.
Ruth Coppinger, the Solidarity TD for Dublin West, has confirmed to Hot Press that a complaint was made to the Gardaí by her, following strange behaviour on the part of a suspicious hanger-on.
“We went to the Guards recently because of one particular harassment case,” the Solidarity TD tells Hot Press. “There was a man showing up at party events and sending gifts to the Dáil, who we discovered had a history of violence against women. It was more somebody who was hanging around a lot. We decided to register it in case anything did happen. We’ve logged it – and some other threats – with the Gardai.”
The TD also reveals that she has received several death threats.
Ruth Coppinger also states that it’s wrong for Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris to attempt to take credit for the success of the Repeal the 8th Campaign. In relation to drugs, she says that there should now be a debate about legalising marijuana and says that it’s a no-brainer that the successful Portuguese Model on the treatment of the possession of drugs for personal use should be introduced in Ireland.
On the subject of the Eighth Amendment, Ruth Coppinger discusses her concerns in relation to the proposed upcoming legislation – explaining that she has genuine fears that Irish women could be forced to take the abortion pill in a doctor’s offices…
Elsewhere in our thought-provoking interview, Ruth Coppinger explains why she’s in favour of legislating for euthanasia. She also opens up to Hot Press’ senior editor Jason O’Toole about experiencing sexism in the Dáil; discusses the online abuse she’s been forced to endure from being in a mixed race marriage; and says that the Government should requisition Church lands to address the housing crisis..
On Leo Varadkar and Donald Trump, Ruth Coppinger tells Hot Press, “When he’s faced with people in power, he seems to crumble, or get overawed – similarly with Teresa May. I think economically Leo Varadkar probably admires Donald Trump.”
On experiencing sexism in the Dáil, Ruth doesn't hold back. “There’s pathetic stuff," she says. "One TD winked when he was sitting in the chamber, which is pathetic. Does any man seriously think that any woman is going to be in any way attracted by somebody winking at them? It’s done to undermine you. It was typical of the gombeen buffoons that get elected in parts of the country.”
On receiving death threats, Ruth reveals: “Of course I have. Any woman who puts her head above the parapet is going to get sexist abuse on social media. I received a number of written threats because of my pro-choice stance throughout the referendum campaign. There were also some verbal ones to our office, arising from socialist feminist positions I took.”
On the possibility of legalising marijuana, Ruth, who admits to having smoked it in the past, reflects: “Yeah, well I certainly think that there has to be a massive discussion about it. And I certainly think that it’s no more dangerous than alcohol. So, yeah, I’m very open to it being considered. It’s ridiculous to criminalise people for smoking marijuana.”
On the Portuguese Model, Ruth says: “I talked to a Guard recently; he said to me, ‘We should have the Portuguese Model’. It must be ridiculous for them – because so much of the crime in Ireland is related to people having drug addiction. Why would you criminalise and put people in jail for that? So, yeah, I’d be very open to the Portuguese Model.”
On legalising euthanasia, Ruth says: “Everybody should be able to make that decision (to end their life) for themselves. It’s hard to believe that somebody would be prevented from taking that decision… We have to allow people to make the decision about how they die. And if they can’t physically do it themselves, to be assisted by somebody else.”
On legislating for the 8th, Ruth warns: “Judging by the way some of the debate went during the referendum, where they over-stated the dangers of the abortion pill, on the Yes side as well, I can see attempts being made to force women to take the pill in a doctor’s surgery. We have to make sure that women aren’t made to take the pill in a doctor’s surgery, and then they’re having an abortion while they’re travelling home on public transport.”
There's lots more in what is a powerful, and thoughtful, in depth interview.