Anti-immigrant groups discuss ending protest marches 

Anti-immigrant groups discuss ending protest marches 

Assistant commissioner  Angela Willis said the force is 'stretched, but I suppose we are still managing at the moment' and that “the protests will be medium to long term, there is no end in sight yet".

Talks have been held among anti-asylum protest organisers about bringing an end to marches that inconvenience members of the public, the Irish Examiner has been told.

One campaigner said a number of groups in Dublin have held discussions in the last few days about winding down the rallies, which have led to widespread traffic disturbances.

Since November, protests have been held all over Dublin and have spread to other parts of the country, including Sligo, Cork, Carlingford in Louth, and more recently, Mullingar in Westmeath The campaigner said: 

Many points have been made and we have highlighted the issue, but we don’t want to impact people going to work. Talks are going on about ending the marches.

“We have some members who are thinking about going into politics and standing locally which would give us a stronger voice."

During the rallies, drivers have been halted in rush hour traffic in Finglas, and the north inner city, while the Port Tunnel has been blocked on several occasions as well as the East Link Toll bridge — bringing parts of Dublin to a standstill.

The anti-immigration protests first came to light in East Wall in north Dublin before Christmas after an old ESB building was used to house around 360 people seeking international protection in Ireland.

Locals were up in arms, saying they were never informed.

Policed marches

Members of the far right infiltrated a number of the marches which were policed by gardaí.

In February, the Policing Authority heard that 115 rallies on this issue had been held in Dublin alone since the start of the year — compared with 30 protests during the same time last year.

Assistant commissioner Angela Willis said the environment is “very challenging” for gardaí.

Pro-immigration marches also began to emerge in recent times, putting more pressure on Garda resources as they tried to manage both sides, while protecting asylum seekers and refugees.

Assistant commissioner Willis said at the time, the force is “stretched, but I suppose we are still managing at the moment” and that “the protests will be medium to long term, there is no end in sight yet".

The Policing Authority was also told that around ten prosecutions over alleged incidents at the rallies are before the courts, but that there were other investigations underway.

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