A number of cabinet ministers received abusive phone calls and texts late last week after their personal mobile numbers were circulated on the internet.

It is not clear how the numbers found their way online. But it is known that a union email was circulated last week, urging members to text politicians of all parties in opposition to legislation reducing the minimum wage.

Following the email from Ictu, government ministers and TDs were “inundated” with texts on Friday morning urging them to reconsider their positions.

However, later on Friday – after the vote – a number of ministers received aggressive calls and texts, with some of them coming from outside the state. It emerged their phone numbers were accessible on the internet.

There is no suggestion whatsoever that anyone involved in the union movement was responsible for placing the numbers on the internet.

A union source conceded, however, that in the rush to get the list compiled, “some numbers that may not have been appropriate may have been added” but there was no evidence that any numbers, other than politicians’ work numbers which are funded by the taxpayer, were included.