A well known advocate for homeless people in Dublin has said anti-lockdown protesters were advised to book accommodation for homeless people in a bid to get around Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The Irish Times reports that the messaging boards where the St Patrick's Day protests were planned contained messages urging people to contact a homeless agency to book a bed for several nights.
They were told that this would protect them if gardaí questioned them over whether their travel was essential while attending the protests.
“For people travelling to Dublin for the protests, if you go to homelessdublin.ie ring the homeless free phone number and they will book you into a homeless hostel for a few nights,” the message said.
It also said this would not mean taking a bed from someone else as authorities “just source more accommodation” of short-term beds.
Gardaí said they were aware of the messages.
The messages were not written by protest organisers, rather visitors to the messaging platforms, and it was unclear if anyone had taken the advice to book a homeless bed.
Cllr Anthony Flynn (Ind), the co-founder of Inner City Helping Homeless, said he was aware of the "worrying" messages.
“Homeless services are stretched every night. Working on the frontline I see the lack of bed availability,” he said, adding any protester who booked a bed would increase pressure on the homeless services.