Cork anti-lockdown protest organisers condemn violent scenes in Dublin

The People's Convention in Cork, who have no association with the protest in Dublin, say the gardaí policing the event did not deserve to be attacked, labelling the perpetrator as "idiots"
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Muireann Duffy

A group organising a protest against current lockdown restrictions have condemned the violent scenes reported during a separate protest in Dublin last weekend.

The People's Convention in Cork, who have no association with the protest in Dublin, say the gardaí policing the event did not deserve to be attacked, labelling the perpetrator as "idiots".

The group's secretary, Diarmaid Ó Cadhla confirmed to the group has liaised with gardaí ahead of their 'Rally for Truth' on Saturday, stressing political groups are not invited to attend and will be instructed to leave if they attempt to join.

Violence broke out in Dublin city centre last Saturday when protesters clashed with gardaí during anti-lockdown demonstrations, resulting in a number of officers being injured and the arrests of over 20 people.

Asked whether they fear Saturday's event may be hijacked by other groups, Mr Ó Cadhla says: "Of course that's possible, we can't say it's not possible, but it is in the extreme unlikely."


He adds the People's Convention has been involved in organising demonstrations on issues over the past number of years, including protests against water charges, claiming none of their events have resulted in violence.

"In the organising of this event, we have announced the parties or any promotions are not allowed at this event," Mr Ó Cadhla says.

"If they arrive, they will be sent away. People can attend as citizens, but if someone comes along trying to promote a cause or conspiracy they will be told to go away. It's nothing to do with this."

Rally for Truth

The People's Convention are calling for greater transparency regarding the reasoning behind what they describe as Ireland's "disproportionate" Covid-19 restrictions, citing delays to health services, such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, as an example of the negative impact brought on by continuous lockdowns.

Mr Ó Cadhla argues the World Health Organisation (WHO) has spoken against the use of national lockdowns to suppress the spread of the virus, referencing comments made last year by Special Envoy on Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro in which he said the measure should only be used in "extreme" circumstances.

The IT specialist also points to alleged inaccuracies with the National Public Health Emergency Team's (Nphet) method of classifying Covid-related deaths and questioned why the Government and health authorities are not informing the public of the potential benefits of taking vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of serious illness and death related to the virus.


Mr Ó Cadhla, who is considered part of the vulnerable category, says the group in no way denies the health risk posed by Covid-19, but believes the Government and health officials must be answerable to the public for their decisions.

"Our 'Rally for Truth' is to say the citizens of Ireland are entitled to know the truth about this public health danger and how our public health policy is dealing with it, or not dealing with it as the case may be," he says.

No association

Mr Ó Cadhla took issue with comments made by Dublin Rathdown TD Neale Richmond following last weekend's protest in the capital, in which the Deputy referred to the organisers of the Cork demonstrations as a "dangerous group".

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Mr Ó Cadhla says the People's Convention in Cork has "never presented any danger to anyone in the very many public events we have hosted over the years", calling for Mr Richmond to apologise for his remarks.

Many families are planning to attend Saturday's demonstrations, Mr Ó Cadhla says, and the group will not hesitate in making Gardaí aware of any people who are intent on causing trouble.

"We will assemble peacefully, and we will disperse peacefully," he says.

The rally is not an anti-mask or anti-vaccine display, he adds, urging anyone who may be vulnerable to use their personal judgment when considering whether to attend.

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