Gardaí arrest 21 people at anti-lockdown protests in Dublin

ireland
Gardaí Arrest 21 People At Anti-Lockdown Protests In Dublin
Gardai watch on as anti-lockdown protesters gather at Herbert Park in Dublin. Picture date: Wednesday March 17, 2021.
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James Cox

Gardaí arrested 21 people at different anti-lockdown protests in Dublin today.

This includes 17 men and four women associated with different events that occurred in Dublin today.

14 people have appeared before a sitting of Dublin District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice, seven people were charged with offences and released on station bail.

Gardaí say they intervened where there was “continued non-compliance with the Public Health regulations” and failure to comply with officers' instructions.

Hundreds gathered in Herbert Park in south Dublin, with the anti-lockdown event billed as Le Cheile Day — “a mental health day”.

Singers and musicians entertained the crowd, with members of An Garda Síochána keeping a discreet presence.

Separately, a small group of anti-lockdown demonstrators gathered at the RTÉ campus in Donnybrook in the afternoon.

At least three other protests and gatherings were due to take place in and around Dublin city centre on Wednesday.

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A small number of protesters also gathered on O'Connell Street while there was a larger gathering at the RTÉ campus in Donnybrook.

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Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said: “This has not been a normal St Patricks Day. I acknowledge the huge level of compliance and social responsibility demonstrated today. I appeal to the public to continue this effort into this evening, please do not engage in house gatherings or parties or congregate in public spaces and amenities.’

“This evening, An Garda Síochána will continue high visibility patrolling at public amenities, conducting checkpoints focused on non-essential travel and people exercising outside 5km of their home, road safety activity and large gatherings that may occur across the country.

“It is important that people enjoy the good weather and avail of fresh air. Please do so in accordance with Public Health Regulations. If a public amenity appears to be crowded please change your plans and revisit at a later time."

At least three other protests and gatherings were due to take place in and around Dublin city centre on Wednesday.

The streets around Leinster House — including Kildare Street, Molesworth Street and Merrion Street — were closed off in anticipation of protests.

A number of the arrests occurred when people who were stopped and spoken to by gardaí refused to give their name and address during checks for officers to establish whether they had made non-essential journeys.

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