Current Events

Ireland’s heart is breaking

A large number of people have been arrested as hundreds of protesters took part in on-going anti-lockdown protests in Dublin. The scars of the people vs. the regime (police and media) may not be easily healed.

Garda Public order personnel form a line on Grafton Street after disorder erupted at a planned anti lockdown gathering in Dublin City centre.

Protesters clashed with Gardaí (Irish police) as they marched through the city centre and attempted to make their way to St Stephen’s Green Park. There was a heavy Gardaí presence around the city centre ahead of the protest, which started at around 2 pm.

St Stephen’s Green Park was closed in advance of the protest under instructions from An Garda Síochána. The Office of Public Works also announced that the Iveagh Gardens would be closed today. Hundreds of people who were not wearing face masks took part in the demonstration.

Gardaí used batons to push protesters away from the park. Videos of the protest show a demonstrator point a firework at Gardaí before it went off, while other missiles and items were thrown at Gardaí.  Gardaí from across Dublin were being deployed into the city centre to ensure there are extra resources to manage the protests.

One source said: ‘Most working available units across the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) have been directed into town. The additional resources are necessary due to a large number of people gathered in town, which has led to some violent clashes as well as fireworks being fired at front line officers.’

Some protestors gathered in front of Garda lines taunting them and shouting ‘you should be ashamed of yourselves and ‘why don’t you do the Jerusalem dance’.

Some other men shouted abuse at the Gardaí and warned them to be careful. ‘What are you going to do?, they shouted at the Gardaí.

Gardaí remained in position until bottles, fireworks, cans and bottles and other items began to be thrown at them. At a signal from senior Gardaí, officers rushed forward with batons raised while shouting, ‘get back, get back’ as the crowd was forced back down Grafton Street.

Dogs from the Gardaí dog unit accompanied officers as they charged down Dublin’s main shopping street. The city’s tram operator said that its services would not be operating at the St Stephen’s Green stop because of the protest.

Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said he was ‘horrified to see this on our streets. Irish people, he claimed, have spent last year fighting Covid. There is no excuse for violence to Gardaí or anyone. This behaviour on Grafton St by a selfish few undermines sacrifices that millions have made in the last 12 months,’ he said on Twitter. Does this suggest that thousands of protestors are not Irish people?

A spokesman for An Garda Siochana said: ‘A number of traffic diversions and other policing measures are currently in place in Dublin this afternoon, Saturday 27th February 2021 in response to a demonstration in the city centre area. A policing plan has been implemented and An Garda Siochana will provide a full update when this operation has concluded.’ Source

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