Minister Stephen Donnelly hits out against "thuggish behaviour" after 14 arrested in Dublin city 2 weeks ago

Minister Stephen Donnelly hits out against "thuggish behaviour" after 14 arrested in Dublin city

"I just want to thank the Gardaí for what they're doing and what they did."

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has condemned scenes in Dublin city on Friday evening as "thuggish behaviour" and "completely unacceptable".

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Yesterday evening, 14 people were arrested in the city centre after glass bottles and other missiles were thrown at Gardaí.

Speaking to reporters about the scenes in the capital after receiving his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, Donnelly said: "It is completely unacceptable and it in no way represents our country.

"The reality is a lot of people are going to be out and about this weekend. It's a Bank Holiday weekend. They're right to be out and about and they're going to be meeting their friends and they're going to be outdoors and they're going to be having a drink or having some food and that's all good.

"The vast majority of these people are going to do it in a way that keeps each other safe.

"What we saw last night doesn't represent anything that we should be paying any attention to and I just want to thank the Gardaí for what they're doing and what they did."

In a statement, a Garda spokesperson said large crowds were present in Dublin city on Friday with the vast majority of people socialising responsibly and enjoying outdoor activity.

However, a number of public order incidents occurred at various locations in the South City Centre, primarily involving large ‘organised groups’ congregating at a number of locations including South William Street, Saint Stephen’s Green Park and Templebar Square.

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Gardaí said a significant uniform Garda presence was on patrol and interacted with various groups. While interacting with a specific group at South William street, glass bottles and other missiles were thrown at Gardai.

Having attempted to engage with these people with no positive response, uniform Gardai - supported by "soft cap" Public Order Gardai - then dispersed this particular group from South William Street.

In total, nine adults and five juveniles were arrested for public order offences and detained at Pearse Street and Kevin Street Garda Stations.

Six people were charged with public order offences and released. Two people received the adult caution while one was released pending a summons for public order offences. The five youths were released and referred for JLO’s.

One Garda member sustained a leg injury and received hospital treatment, while one Garda Patrol Vehicle was damaged.

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