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green peace Protests pass off peacefully with 16 arrests made mainly for people failing to obey garda instructions

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Gardai questioning members of the public on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre today .

Gardai questioning members of the public on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre today .

Gardai questioning members of the public on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre today .

A total of 16 people have been arrested associated with the anti-lockdown protests in Dublin this afternoon.

A statement from An Garda Síochána outlined that 13 men and three women were arrested and 10 of these have been charged and will appear before a sitting of Dublin District Court this evening at the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said: "This has not been a normal St Patrick’s Day. I acknowledge the huge level of compliance and social responsibility demonstrated today. I appeal to the public to continue this effort into this evening, please do not engage in house gatherings or parties or congregate in public spaces and amenities.”

This evening, An Garda Síochána will continue high visibility patrolling at public amenities, conducting checkpoints focused on non-essential travel and people exercising outside 5km of their home, road safety activity and large gatherings that may occur across the country.

There was a heavy garda presence all around Dublin today as potential gatherings and protests were being monitored in case of trouble.

By late morning gardai had blocked off the Donnybrook Road at the Dublin Bus Depot leading up to RTE at Montrose, and traffic was being diverted away from the area.

Other access roads were also blocked, and there was a very visible presence of gardai at the entrance gates to the national broadcaster.

Crowd control barriers had been erected at the main entrance on the dual carriageway, so anybody accessing RTE had to use the old entrance on Nutley Lane, which was also being heavily policed.

At Herbert Park gardai kept a low-key presence of foot patrols. The garda helicopter looped between Ballsbridge and Donnybrook, assessing the situation from the air.

At one point three garda vans filled with uniformed officers gathered at Herbert Park, but they moved on after a short while.

In the city gardai had a very visible presence on the street, and at train stations.

There were some arrests around lunchtime on O’Connell Street, mainly of people failing to obey garda instructions.

By early afternoon the warm Spring weather had brought people out to Herbert Park but they sat on the grass and on benches in small family groups enjoying the sunshine.

Then at around 2pm people started to gather at RTE and Herbert Park.

A man sang from the bandstand in Herbert Park while some placard holders and flag wavers mingled with the growing crowd.

At RTE a number of people stood on the footbridge over the dual carriageway with anti-Covid restriction and anti vaccine placards.

The event in Herbert Park was billed as ‘Le Cheile Day’ and a gathering for mental health.

More to come..

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