Irish prime minister condemns bomb hoax at his home

European Union leaders informal summit in Brussels

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said a hoax bomb threat made to his home on Wednesday night is "utterly unacceptable" and that the intimidation of politicians and their families cannot be allowed to continue.

There have been increased instances of people gathering outside the homes of Irish ministers, sometimes wearing masks and erecting anti-migrant banners. Three men were arrested last week over the alleged harassment of an elected official after they gathered outside Harris' home.

Migration has become a heated debate in Ireland as the government struggles to accommodate record numbers of refugees and occasionally violent protests have been held outside accommodation centres where migrants are living.

"This is an utterly unacceptable situation," Harris told reporters at a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday.

"Even the word hoax I'm not sure is a fair word with respect because I've no doubt these things are done to intimidate, to upset. I have young children. I have a wife," he said.

"I do think all of us in our discourse, including media, need to reflect on how we comment on these matters. If masked men turned up outside your house, it wouldn't be described as protest. It's not protest when it happens outside my house either and this situation can't be allowed to continue."

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Richard Chang)