Major garda operation launched as anti-immigrant protesters prepare to target RTÉ offices and other media outlets
A large garda operation will be in place today for an anti-immigration protest due to target RTÉ in Donnybrook.
The rally follows a similar one last Monday which targeted the offices of several media companies in Dublin city centre, including Mediahuis which publishes the Irish Independent, as well as the Irish Timesand several radio stations.
During that protest, speakers were critical of current immigration policy, the media, as well as the Government and opposition politicians.
“When someone arrives in immigration and they have no passport they tell them to get back on the plane. But then the people say they’re claiming asylum and they take them in. That’s the problem, and that’s what has to change,” speaker Malachy Steenson said as he addressed the crowd.
“Every political party in this country is shifting its position. They are still calling us racist and unrepresentative. We’re not going to take any lectures from somebody who recognises that the political ground is shifting away from them. We will shift the political ground here,” he added.
Although it claimed to be a non-political grouping, members of the right-wing National Party were present at the protest which numbered in the region of 2,000 people.
Gardaí are expecting traffic disruption in and around the Montrose campus of RTÉ during the protest at around 1pm.
On Thursday around 30 protesters gathered on the North Road in Finglas for a protest which stopped traffic on the dual carriageway between Charlestown and the roundabout at the Casement estate.
There was a large garda presence and one garda filmed the protest with a handheld recorder as he walked alongside the group as they chanted “Leo, Leo, Leo. Out, out out”.
They also carried banners branding Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney a traitor, and signs saying “Finglas is full,” “Mass Immigration is ethnic cleansing on the Irish,” and “Our women and kids don’t feel safe. Enough is enough.”
One protester confronted the garda member filming the rally, and the group caused traffic disruption for an hour before disbanding.
Garda officers attached to the Special Detective Unit are now monitoring upwards of 20 individuals whom they consider to be far-right agitators.
This includes online activity which gardaí perceive as translating to problems on the ground at protests.
Many of the protests being organised are done through social media channels and are often kept under wraps until the last-minute to have an element of surprise for gardaí and the public.
Last week anti-refugee activist Graham Carey (39) was arrested at his Finglas home, barred from social media and ordered to stay away from asylum centres after gardaí charged him with incitement to hatred.
The Garda Special Detective Unit (SDU) arrested Mr Carey at his Dunsink Drive address alleging he distributed, showed, or played a recording of visual images or sounds to stir up hatred contrary to the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act.
They later posted photographs online of two Asian gardaí they had singled out from the line of gardaí present
The judge also imposed a condition on him not to organise or participate in gatherings and protests, either in person or online.
He was released on bail to appear in court again in April.
A protest on Thursday evening in Coolock was met with a wall of gardaí. Protesters confronted them and said they would be broadcasting footage of all of them “on every social network”.
They later posted photographs online of two Asian gardaí they had singled out from the line of gardaí present.
An ongoing protest on Aungier Street in Dublin city has disrupted traffic for an hour each evening as a group of around a dozen local protesters gather in opposition to the number of “undocumented single males” being placed in hostels in the area.
The group has said it is a non-political gathering of concerned locals, and that when a right-wing political group tried to latch on to their actions they were told they were not welcome.
“There is a saturation of hostels in our area and what we are concerned about is the amount of undocumented single men who are economic migrants. If you arrive here on a plane with no passport you should be put back on a plane straight back to the last country you came from,” said organiser Tony Brien.
He said the men are being moved into the area at night. He said they had no issue with immigration from war zones such as Ukraine.
“There’s no political parties involved with us. We are just a community group,” he added.
A number of other protests have been taking place in towns around the country also, such as in Fermoy in Cork.
Meanwhile, there have been confrontations between pro-immigration and anti-immigration groups in towns like Sligo, with anti-immigration groups being branded fascists and Nazis.
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