Dublin protest: Man suspected of launching fireworks at gardaí arrested

ireland
Dublin Protest: Man Suspected Of Launching Fireworks At Gardaí Arrested Dublin Protest: Man Suspected Of Launching Fireworks At Gardaí Arrested
Members of the Garda public order unit during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city centre. Photo: PA Images
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Gardaí have arrested a man suspected to have launched fireworks at officers during an anti-lockdown protest that took place in Dublin over the weekend.

The man, aged in his 30s, was arrested by officers this morning and is currently detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939 at Irishtown Garda station.

The Irish Times reports that suspects can be questioned on suspicion of explosives-related offences under the Act and it indicates how seriously gardaí are taking the investigation.

In a statement on Tuesday, An Garda Síochána said its investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The arrest this morning follows 23 previous arrests in connection with the disturbances in Dublin city centre on February 27th.

Three gardaí suffered injuries during the violence, with one due to undergo surgery on a fractured ankle. Another garda suffered a perforated eardrum.

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On Monday, gardaí were understood to have identified a group who launched fireworks at officers on Dublin’s Grafton Street on Saturday and were expected to make arrests shortly.

Protest footage

The group comprises males from the Monkstown/Dún Laoghaire area who have a history of engaging in anti-social behaviour, a source told The Irish Times.

Gardaí have clear footage and images of the group, including of them preparing the firework to be fired on Grafton Street.

One of the group’s members, a 30-year-old from south Dublin, then brings it up to the line of gardaí and fires it towards an officer.

On Saturday, gardaí sealed off a number of areas including St Stephen's Green ahead of the protest as a large number of people gathered in breach of public health regulations from around 1.30pm.

The gathering became violent as members of An Garda Síochána were targeted with fireworks, missiles and spit.

The policing operation initially involved approximately 125 members of An Garda Síochána.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris confirmed the operation involved uniformed personnel, plain clothes, public order units, the Garda mounted unit and the Garda dog unit.

Future protests

Taoiseach Micheál Martin condemned the “thuggish” attacks on gardaí while Higher Education Minister Simon Harris also described the incident as “pure thuggery”.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) believes Saturday’s “rioting in Dublin reinforces the need for early vaccination of gardaí”.

The anti-lockdown protest was organised online by a group called RiseUp Éireann, which declared the event a success.

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“Ireland rose up!” it posted. “The greatest awakening is here.”

Garda intelligence is currently aware of plans for at least two more anti-lockdown protests deemed to have potential to turn violent, including one in Cork and one on St Patrick’s Day in Dublin.

Of the 23 people previously arrested, 13 have now appeared before the Criminal Court of Justice and have been remanded in custody to appear before Cloverhill District Court at a later date.

A further seven were charged with offences and released on station bail, while three juveniles were released for consideration of inclusion in the Juvenile Diversion Programme.

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