A man promoting an anti-lockdown rally in Cork city this weekend has criticised the violent scenes that emerged at a similar event in Dublin.
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said his grandchildren would attend, despite fears it could be hijacked by groups intent on violent disorder.
Mr Ó Cadhla, secretary of the People's Convention and a former Cork county councillor, said he had no such concerns and would liaise with gardaí on the day to identify potential trouble makers.
“Those involved in the violent scenes in Dublin on Saturday damaged the protest movement. We wouldn’t have anything to do with that,” he said.
Missiles and fireworks were fired at gardaí during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city on Saturday. Three gardaí were injured and 23 people were arrested.
Gardaí in Cork are now closely monitoring output on various social media platforms ahead of a similar anti-lockdown rally in Cork city centre on Saturday.
Mr Ó Cadhla said it would be a family-friendly event. He said he did not accept that the organisation of such an event was a breach of the Public Health Act, or that the gathering of a large crowd could increase the risk of the virus spreading. And he said he can’t wear a face mask because of an underlying lung condition.
He criticised the Government and public health officials, claiming the country was "not in as bad a shape" as has been said. His remarks came as a further 687 cases and one more death were announced on Tuesday evening.
As a member of the Cork City JPC I will be liaising with fellow members and the Gardai to ensure that a repeat of what happened in Dublin over the weekend is not repeated in Cork this coming Saturday. https://t.co/zW743XhshM— Cllr Damian Boylan (@DamianBoylanFG) February 28, 2021
Fine Gael Cork City councillor Damian Boylan pleaded with those promoting the event to cancel it.
“We are all frustrated, we are all fed up of not being able to hug, to go for a cup of coffee, but we are all adhering to the restrictions to avoid further deaths,” he said.