Disruption outside the Irish parliament marked a “very sad day, a very grave day for democracy” in Ireland, politicians have said.

Thirteen people have been charged by gardai after demonstrations, which saw entrances to Leinster House blocked, and protests, which included a mock gallows featuring ministers and opposition TDs.

Calls have been made to review security measures around the site for the Oireachtas, in Kildare Street in Dublin city centre.

Elected representatives have also warned of the threat of a “Jo Cox” moment, referring to the MP murdered in 2016.

Senator Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of the Irish parliament’s upper house, the Seanad, said he could not get back into Leinster House due to protesters after attending the funeral of a former colleague.

He said “there could have been a Jo Cox moment” and called for a policing plan around the vicinity of Leinster House.

Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae said his 20-year-old US intern, who was on the first day of her programme, was “shoved, pushed”.

He called it “disgraceful behaviour” and said it was “not right”.

He said: “This is the funny thing: everybody is saying, ‘What exactly were they protesting about?’ Because all I saw were people jumping up and down, using horrible, bad language that should not be used in any form of protest and there was no coherent message from them.

“It was like a gathering of people who just wanted to insult.

“Everybody is scratching their heads and saying, ‘What exactly is their message?’ Whatever they did want to do, they didn’t exactly do it very effectively because government don’t know what they wanted… because they actually didn’t make a call.”

Mr Buttimer said there should be a “sterile area” around the streets where members and staff of the Oireachtas can move in and out, but also allow for peaceful protest.

“My concern is (about) members of staff, those who work in the parliamentary community of Leinster House, and members,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“Yesterday, members (and) staff were prevented from doing their work and from carrying out their duties. We live in a republic and the ballot box is our answer to those people yesterday – you can give people a mandate or not.”

He added: “People come out every day protesting in a very fair and a very personal way and make their points clearly, but yesterday was an attack on all of our democracy.

“It wasn’t about a political party or a government, it was about the institutions of the state.

“I’ve been (at Leinster House for) 16 years, I’ve never witnessed the behaviour and the thuggery of yesterday and thankfully, because of the proactivity of members of An Garda Siochana, there was nobody seriously injured or hurt or even killed.”