Newtownmountkennedy: Six arrested following disturbances at site earmarked for asylum seekers

Three Garda cars were damaged during the incident in Co Wicklow.

The Garda logo on a Garda vehicle in Dublin
The Garda logo on a Garda vehicle in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Six people have been arrested following disturbances at the site in Co Wicklow earmarked for asylum seekers.

There had been protests outside a premises in Newtownmountkennedy.

A Garda spokesperson said officers “came under attack” in an incident which they said developed as a result of workers, contracted to carry out lawful employment on the site, entering the site.

They said a number of trespassers were also identified on and removed from the site last night.

“Uniform gardaí have been subject of both verbal and physical abuse throughout the day, which escalated into rocks and other missiles being thrown this evening,” they said in a statement on Thursday night.

“Fires have been lit and an axe has been recovered by Gardaí during this evenings incident.

“As the situation has intensified, members of An Garda Síochána used force to defend themselves as part of an escalated response to the situation.

“Assistance was provided by members of An Garda Síochána Public Order Unit and approximately 50 members of An Garda Síochána remain at the scene this evening.

“The use of force included the use of Incapacitant spray and deployment of Public Order Gardaí in Public Order helmets and shields.”

Gardai said three patrol cars were damaged, and six people were arrested for alleged offences under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994.

The spokesperson added: “An Garda Síochána respects the right for citizens to exercise their constitutional rights; this right does not extend to breaches of Criminal Law, the interference with the rights of other citizens to carry out their daily activities, or to attack members of An Garda Siochana.

“Any Garda activity in relation to evolving events involves a graduated policing response taking into account relevant legislation and public safety, with enforcement as a last resort.

“An Garda Síochána is also aware of misinformation and disinformation being spread in relation to this ongoing incident.”