Large crowds gather in Dublin to protest against vaccines and Covid certs
Gardaí have said the protest concluded peacefully shortly before 6.00pm.
Large crowds gathered in Dublin's city centre on Saturday to protest against Covid-19 vaccines and new indoor hospitality rules.
From Monday, indoor service will return in pubs and restaurants for people vaccinated against or recovered from Covid-19, as well as under-18s accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Before a customer is allowed to enter the seating area of a bar and restaurant, they must provide "proof of immunity" from Covid-19, as well as photo ID.
Subject to the finalisation of regulations made under the Health (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2021, this proof of immunity will include the EU Digital Covid Certificate and the HSE vaccination card.
Around 1,500 protesters are reported to have gathered outside the Custom House in Dublin from 1pm, before marching towards O'Connell Street and then to Merrion Row at Government Buildings.
During the march through the city, some protesters waved Irish flags while others held placards with anti-vaccine and anti-Covid certificate messaging.
The crowd also chanted "freedom" before arriving at Government Buildings where some speeches took place.
The demonstration brought traffic to a standstill and resulted in some delays to Luas services.
Passengers please be advised both Red and Green Line services are operating with delays of up to 30 minutes due to a demonstration in the City Centre, We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Tickets are valid on Dublin Bus.
— Luas (@Luas) July 24, 2021
In a statement to JOE, a Garda spokesperson said: "This afternoon 24th July 2021, An Garda Síochána put in place a policing operation in relation to a protest planned on social media to take place in Dublin City Centre.
"An Garda Síochána has no role in permitting or authorising protest marches or gatherings, there is no permit/authorisation required for such events. A decision as to whether any protest takes place rests solely with organisers.
"Participants gathered from approximately 1pm on Custom House Quay. From approximately 2.30pm the assembled crowd marched from Custom House Quay through the city centre and reassembled on Merrion Row at Government Buildings at approximately 3.30pm. The protest concluded peacefully shortly before 6.00pm."
The statement also said: "The Covid-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in order to continue to save lives."