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Covid protest Gardai arrest 11 at Dublin anti-lockdown protest

300 uniform and plain clothes officers monitored the gathering in and around Phoenix Park

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Protesters in confrontation with gardai as they try to move through Dublin city centre. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Protesters in confrontation with gardai as they try to move through Dublin city centre. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Protesters in confrontation with gardai as they try to move through Dublin city centre. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Eleven people have been arrested at an anti-lockdown protest demonstration in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

A number of those arrested are due before a special sitting of Dublin District Court tonight charged in relation to today's protest.

As many as 300 uniform and plain clothes officers monitored the gathering that took place in and around the Wellington monument.

Gardaí said they were aware of an event organised on social media by disparate groups planning to gather in the park.

They said that officers engaged with those present at the monument, which included protestors as well as individuals and families who were not involved.

However, at approximately 3.30pm, demonstrators left the park and walked along the North Quays to the GPO on O’Connell Street before turning to walk back along the South Quays.

“Following persistent and ongoing non-compliance with Public Health Regulations uniformed members of An Garda Síochána intervened in a graduated response at Victoria Quay.” Gardai said.

“Eleven arrests were made in relation to this event over the course of the afternoon,” they added. “A number of Fixed Payment Notices (FPNs) will be issued in relation to persons attending this event in breach of Public Health Regulations.

“An Garda Síochána will carry out an investigation into the organisers of this event.”

Officers on the ground were backed up by Public Order Units, the Peaceful Crowd Management Unit, the Mounted Unit and the Dog Unit.

“In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent,” Gardai added.

“This has seen Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce. Any Garda activity in relation to evolving events is in line with this graduated policing response taking into account public health regulations and advice.

“Personal social responsibility, wearing of face coverings in open spaces and social distancing are public health guidelines and are not penal regulations.”

They added: “The COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.”

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