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Covid protest Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters gather in Dublin’s Phoenix Park

Relatively low-key compared to recent demonstrations

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Protestors supporting a worldwide day of opposition to Covid-19 Lockdowns, gather at the Wellington Monument in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Protestors supporting a worldwide day of opposition to Covid-19 Lockdowns, gather at the Wellington Monument in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Protestors supporting a worldwide day of opposition to Covid-19 Lockdowns, gather at the Wellington Monument in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters have gathered at the Wellington monument in Dublin’s Phoenix Park this afternoon.

Carrying flags and banners, it was a relatively low-key event compared to other recent demonstrations in the city.

People sat on the monument and on the surrounding grass areas where some pulled out picnic blankets.

Others gathered in groups with little or no social distancing on display and there were not many mask-wearers in sight.

Gardaí in riot vans parked around the site monitored proceedings from a distance.

However, there did not appear to be the same sense of agitation that led scenes of violence on Grafton Street earlier this month.

And it was a smaller turn out than that at Herbert Park in the south of the city on St Patrick’s Day that saw hundreds gather in bright sunshine for a family-friendly ‘Le Cheile’ event.

Other protests that were believed to be taking place simultaneously at other locations across the city did not materialise.

At the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square a group of mainly homeless people gathered around a small soup kitchen operated by volunteers who were handing out hot food and coffee.

None of the people there were wearing masks or practising social distancing although they insisted they were not there to protest.

Gardaí were taking no chances, however, with at least six officers standing at various points around the entrance. At several stages the Public Order unit arrived and then departed.

The protest at the Phoenix Park then broke up later in the afternoon and some then marched along the quays towards the city centre.

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The Garda Press office said there had been no arrests reported this afternoon.

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