Two men arrested following confrontation between protestors outside the Dáil
Another weekend of protests in Dublin city centre.
Two men were arrested following a confrontation between large groups of protestors outside Dáil Éireann on Saturday afternoon.
The confrontation occurred at the scene of a Let Ireland Live protest by the National Party, where a crowd of approximately 50 people had gathered to protest restrictions imposed to combat the spread of Covid-19.
In a statement, An Garda Síochána said that that they were forced to intervene when "large groups with opposing views" gathered in the city centre from early afternoon.
Two men, one aged in his 30s and another in his 40s, were arrested for Public Order offences. Footage on social media also showed missiles being thrown and fireworks exploding at the scenes of the protest.
A full Garda operation was in place from early morning, involving up to 100 Garda personnel from the DMR South Central & North Central Divisions and the National Public Order Unit, supported by the Garda Dog and Mounted Units.
From approximately 12.30pm, two protest groups began assembling in the Molesworth Street, Kildare Street and St. Stephen's Green areas in Dublin city centre. Garda members were forced to intervene on a number of occasions during the course of the afternoon to keep opposing sides apart and maintain public safety before the groups eventually dispersed without any serious incident shortly after 3.30pm.
An investigation focused on the organisers of both protests is now underway.
Gardaí said that while current public health regulations do not prohibit protest marches or gatherings, they do provide an offence for a person to organise such events. Gardaí say they are investigating all such protest marches.
Where possible, An Garda Síochána said, it has advised identified organisers organising such events as to their responsibilities and potential consequences.
Regarding the wearing of masks at such events, meanwhile, public health regulations regulate the wearing of face coverings on public transport and certain retail spaces, but not in open air settings.