City centre chaos Eleven arrested after gardai 'forced to intervene' in protest on Grafton Street
Eleven people have been arrested for public order offences after Gardaí said they were “forced to intervene” during a protest in Dublin City Centre today..
A full Garda operation was in place from the early afternoon as anti- lockdown protestors gathered at O'Connell Bridge and later moved to East Wall Road and onto Grafton Street.
Video footage circulating online showed one man wrapped in a tricolour, face down on the ground, being handcuffed by officers, alongside another man with his face down and hands clasped above his head.
The arrests were carried out by the public order unit, who brought the scene under control.
A garda spokesman said: “Gardaí engaged with the protestors on a number of occasions using a graduated policing response during which Garda members engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
“On a number of occasions protestors were informed that they were in breach of public health regulations and (were) asked to disperse.
“At approximately 5:30pm, as protestors began to disperse, a small group started to become involved in public disorder incidents on Grafton Street.
“11 people were arrested by Gardaí for public order offences following a number of incidents in the area.
“No injuries were reported and the rest of the group dispersed from the area without serious incident.”
The 11 who were arrested are currently detained at undisclosed garda stations in Dublin.
Gardai said the Public Order Unit were deployed in “soft cap mode”- meaning they were not dressed in helmets and with body shields. They were tasked with assisting uniform officers at the protest.
An investigation is now underway on finding who the organisers of this protest are. Gardai said the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions will be sought in respect of any further actions to be taken.
Gardai have appealed to the public to comply with all public health guidance which prohibits mass gatherings and does not allow for people to travel more than 5km from their homes while the country is in a six week lockdown period.
The protestors had caused chaos in the city with traffic disruptions at both ends of the Port Tunnel and a huge queue of trucks building up on the M50 and M1 and in the city.
Independent News Service