Another example of direct intervention attributed to the Saor Éire Action Group was the unsuccessful attempt to tar and feather Paddy Donegan the Fine Gael spokesman on industry and commerce. Who had been found guilty In October 1969, of firing a shotgun at a Traveller’s camp site to get them to leave Newtown, Monasterboice, Co, Louth and fined a desultory £20 at Drogheda District Court. This was seen by the general public at the time as a grave miscarriage of justice and a naked racist attack on a vulnerable section of the community.
In October 1976 Paddy Donegan the Minister of Defence in the Fine Gael-Labour coalition of 1973-77, made a controversial speech at an army barracks in Mullingar. He described as a thundering bollox and a fucking disgrace President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh’s refusal to sign the Emergency Powers Act, 1976. The Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave refused Donegan’s resignation and instead Ó Dálaigh resigned as President. (1)