Two arrested as rival protesters come face to face at #Rally4Peace

Picture: Sam Boal/

Latest: Two people have been arrested after rival protest groups came face to face outside Dáil this afternoon in a row over racism and hate speech.

Around 300 people met outside Leinster House in Dublin for a carol-singing rally against racism and "the politics of hatred" at 1pm.

They were met by a second group of about 120 carrying tricolours and placards bearing slogans including "defend free speech".

A man and woman have been arrested on public order offences.

Mehmet Uludag, Chairman of United Against Racism, says the political party Renua should explain its presence.

"I don't claim that each and every individual across the road are fascists or far-right individuals

"There are plenty of horribly confused people across the road.

"Now, Renua is standing across the road with those individuals. Shame on Renua.

"There is no future for that sort of ideology in this country.

"I don't even believe Renua has a future in this country the way they are going."

Protesters in Dublin hold #Rally4Peace against 'rise in hate crime and hate speech'

Update 2.40pm: Protesters in Dublin have today highlighted their opposition to hate speech that has emerged in Ireland.

Protesters marching in the Rally for Peace against the politics of hate outside the Dáil. Pic: Sam Boal/
Protesters marching in the Rally for Peace against the politics of hate outside the Dáil. Pic: Sam Boal/

The Rally for Peace is underway at Leinster House with unions, campaigners against homelessness and minority rights groups taking part.

The festive demonstration includes musical performances and a wide-range of speakers including advocates for disability rights, minority rights, worker’s rights, campaigners and advocates against homelessness.

Organisers are warning that hatred must not be allowed to divide those working for positive change.

The demonstration was organised by the Solidarity Alliance against Racism and Fascism (SARF), which was established in 2016.

It said this year’s rally was called in response to “increases in hate crime and hate speech in Ireland, which are linked to an increasingly well-resourced far-right.”

Organiser Yvonne O'Callaghan said we must stand together against hate.

“There are those that seek to divide us,” she said.

They prey on our concerns about housing, job security and healthcare. They try to pull us apart with division tactics and distract us from working together for positive change.

“They try to get us to blame each other and fight each other instead of campaigning against the causes of poverty, exclusion and austerity.

“We want to come together to hold this space of inclusivity and openness against those forces of division and hate in our society.”

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