Protestors threw eggs and cheese at Minister for Health Mary Harney's car as she arrived at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Nenagh.

The minister was at the Tipperary hospital to open a new endoscopy unit.

The protestors said the unit is irrelevant due to what they describe as the 'ongoing downgrading of the hospital'.

A group of about 30 people protested outside the hospital during the minister's visit.

Speaking afterwards, Minister Harney said she was not upset, adding that she has had other things thrown at her that were probably worse.

'I think it's a great pity that in a democracy people don't use the opportunity to put their perspective forward in a different way,' she said.

'Politics is about choices, it's about argument and a debate. It's not about engaging in public disorder offences or engaging in activity of that kind.

'I understand that many of those are politically motivated of a different persuasion than the mainstream parties in this country maybe that's part of the motivation.'

Last week, the minister was hit with red paint as she turned the sod at a mental health centre in Dublin.