Garda Commissioner clarifies 'far-left' remark following Dublin protest

Three Gardaí were injured during the incident and one has been hospitalised.
Garda Commissioner clarifies 'far-left' remark following Dublin protest

 Anti-Lockdown protesters clash with gardai on O’Connell Street Dublin. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has issued a statement clarifying remarks he made in relation to groups of people involved in yesterday's protests in Dublin city centre.

Mr Harris said yesterday that the majority of those involved were members of groups of "anti-maskers, anti-vaccination groups, anti-lockdown groups, and elements of the far-left and far-right."

However this morning, Mr Harris said that "despite initial indications, following further investigations, there is no corroborated evidence of extreme left factions being involved."

He added: "The vast majority of those who took part belong to a number of factions including anti-vaccine, anti-mask and anti-lockdown far-right, far right groups, and those intent on trouble and disorder."

Three Gardaí were injured during the incident and one has been hospitalised.

A total of 23 arrests have been made so far and 13 people appeared before Dublin District Court last night charged with public order offences.

The garda commissioner has issued a statement clarifying remarks he made in relation to groups of people involved in yesterday's protests in Dublin city centre. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The garda commissioner has issued a statement clarifying remarks he made in relation to groups of people involved in yesterday's protests in Dublin city centre. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

McEntee: Majority of Dublin protestors were there 'to cause disruption and harm'

The Justice Minister has said the vast majority of people at yesterday's anti-lockdown march in Dublin were there to cause harm and disruption.

Gardaí used batons as they pushed protesters down Grafton Street, while fireworks, cans, and bollards have been thrown at gardaí.

A dense crowd filled South King Street from end to end. Hundreds of people who were not wearing face masks marched through the city centre and attempted to make their way to St Stephen’s Green park.

Protesters were prevented from gathering in the park after the Office of Public Works closed the gates to the public.

The Justice Minister has said the vast majority of people at yesterday's anti-lockdown march in Dublin were there to cause harm and disruption. Pcture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The Justice Minister has said the vast majority of people at yesterday's anti-lockdown march in Dublin were there to cause harm and disruption. Pcture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Justice Minister Helen McEntee says what happened yesterday is unacceptable.

"The vast majority of people who were there were not there for peaceful protest, they were there to cause disruption and harm.

"I think a lot of people are very frustrated given the last year that we've had where people have stayed at home, their livelihoods have been put on hold, and to see this it really is an insult to the huge amount of work being done by so many people."

Anti Lockdown protest at a party outside the GPO after marching from Grafton Street before the crowd marched around the City Center before finishing at the GPO. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Anti Lockdown protest at a party outside the GPO after marching from Grafton Street before the crowd marched around the City Center before finishing at the GPO. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Taoiseach Micheál Martin condemned the protest saying it posed an unacceptable risk to both the public and Gardaí.

"The large gathering, in the face of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, showed a complete lack of respect to the people who have made huge sacrifices during this pandemic.

"Nor can we tolerate the thuggish behaviour or attacks on gardaí, who have the public’s utmost respect as they continue to protect and serve our society in difficult circumstances.

"There can be no justification for the march or the violence that unfolded, and I pay tribute to members of An Garda Síochána who moved quickly to make arrests and restore order."

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