Protesters outside Garda station call for release of far-right activist

Protesters outside Garda station call for release of far-right activist

A lareg crowd gathered outside Finglas Garda Station calling for the release of a far-right activist. Picture:

More than 200 protesters held a demonstration at Finglas Garda Station on Wednesday night calling for the release of a far-right activist who had been arrested earlier in the day.

The anti-migrant campaigner was arrested on Wednesday morning by officers from the Garda Special Detective Unit where he is being questioned under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Protesters had earlier shouted abuse at a man who was trying to bring his wife to hospital when he asked them to move their initial blockade of a road into Finglas.

The man had been attempting to bring his wife for kidney dialysis when he got caught in a traffic jam caused by the demonstrators. 

When he left his car to confront them, he was met with verbal abuse from some of the protestors, who could be heard shouting “fat bastard” at the man and “you’re either with us or against us”.

He later was seen walking to nearby gardaí to ask them to intervene, before returning to his car.

A woman who also got out of her car to say she was late for work, was called a “slut” and told to “fuck off”.

One of the protesters was openly carrying a placard with the Nazi swastika sign.

One protester present at the demonstration criticised the abuse aimed at the pair.

'We are not racists'

The man who described himself as an organiser of the demonstration insisted those present were not racist.

Giving only his first name as ‘Gavin’, he said: “This is a good community, and there are people here tonight that are not with us, they’re hijacking our concerns.

“We are not racists… it is heartbreaking watching that man trying to get his wife to treatment. Nobody wants that, and nobody is listening to our actual concerns.

We don’t know these people moving into the area. This is a complete mess and is a disaster the way it’s been handled.” 

“Finglas has enough antisocial problems without hundreds of strangers coming in,” he added.

“We don’t have enough facilities; we don’t have enough gardaí — I actually feel sorry for the gardaí.

“If you ring them it takes an hour for them to come out, we don’t have the room, the facilities, or the resources. And now there’s people joining our genuine protests with swastika signs — it’s crazy, it’s scary, and the Government are just putting their heads in the sand.” 

Hundreds of people had blocked the main road into Finglas from the M50 this evening as part of a series of co-ordinated protests across Dublin.

Protesters could be seen carrying signs reading 'Mass immigration needs mass deportation' and 'Mass immigration, ethnic cleansing of Irish' as they marched down Slaney Road near the industrial estate.

A Garda helicopter could be seen in the skies over Finglas for the protest that started at 6pm and continued on to the Garda station.

Arrest of activist

Earlier on Wednesday, a far-right activist was arrested by gardaí and was being questioned in Dublin last night.

Videos circulated online show the individual warning that last night’s protest would take over Finglas Garda Station and that a 100-strong group of men from the protest would police the area and block off roads. He also urged people to bring weapons to protests, including legally-held guns.

He is being held under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. It is understood he is being questioned in relation to offences under Sections 6 and 7 of the act, which relate to the obstruction of the duties of State bodies, such as An Garda Síochána, and unlawfully exercising their powers.

Finglas gardaí who were examining his online videos as part of their investigation into possible criminal offences handed over his arrest to the Special Detective Unit, as the alleged offences were considered to be related to the security of the State.

The SDU, the Gardaí’s dedicated anti-terrorism unit, will liaise with the office of the DPP as to whether there are grounds to bring a charge.

If not, the detectives will prepare a file for the DPP for further consideration.

Appeal for witnesses

Meanwhile, gardaí are appealing for information from a taxi driver who picked up a "white man and a white woman" in their 20s during the early hours of last Friday.

It follows an alleged assault of a woman near Cappagh Road in Finglas, Co Dublin, on January 27.

A Garda spokesperson said the force is aware of a significant volume of misinformation and disinformation in circulation regarding the investigation.

"Investigating gardaí are looking to speak to a taxi driver who picked up a fare from a white man and white woman at around 1.30am on that particular morning," the spokesperson said.

"Both passengers were driven from a location in Dublin’s South inner city and taken to Cappagh Rd in Finglas, Dublin 11. The taxi is believed to have travelled to Finglas via the industrial estate in Ballycoolin."

The statement follows the Irish Examiner’s report on Tuesday that a white Irish male was being sought in connection with the alleged assault.

It is understood that gardaí have video footage of what happened and have statements from the alleged victim.

They have identified the white male who got into the taxi. He lives outside Dublin.

Claims that male refugees or black men had carried out the attack have fuelled and heightened anti-refugee protests in Finglas in recent days.

Gardaí are understood to have issued the official statement to persuade people who might have legitimate concerns over the safety of women not to take part in further anti-refugee protests.

“We don’t expect this to change the minds of the hardcore, but we know there are decent people who were genuinely concerned,” said a source. 

“This will give them an excuse to back out.” 

No arrests have taken place as yet.

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