Several arrests after demonstrators bring mock gallows to Leinster House protest

Protesters outside Leinster House, Dublin, as the Dail resumes after summer recess (Brian Lawless/PA)
Protesters outside Leinster House, Dublin, as the Dail resumes after summer recess (Brian Lawless/PA)

Several arrests have been made during a day of protests outside the Dail that saw demonstrators block entrances and display a mock gallows.

Photographs of high-profile politicians were attached to the gallows placed outside Leinster House as Dail business returned following the summer recess.

There was a sizeable gardai presence, with metal barricades erected, as politicians, media and Oireachtas staff were barracked arriving and leaving the building.

Some TDs and senators required gardai escorts to leave the Dail through the shouting crowds of protesters.

Dail resumes after summer recess
Protesters carried signs saying ‘Ballybrack says no’ in reference to plans to house asylum seekers in a building in the area, which sparked mass protests earlier this year (Brian Lawless/PA)

The gallows, which featured an effigy of a man hanging from a noose, was adorned with portraits of politicians including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Images of enterprise minister Simon Coveney, education minister Norma Foley and minister for children Roderic O’Gorman also accompanied the display.

Depictions of opposition TDs including Eoin O Broin from Sinn Fein and Solidarity-People Before Profit deputies Paul Murphy and Brid Smith also featured.

On Wednesday morning around 200 people gathered outside Leinster House on Kildare Street, where the main entrance was fenced off by gardai, as part of what has become a traditional day of protest for the return of the Dail session.

Far-right protesters shouted various chants against transgender rights, migration and planned hate speech laws.

Politicians and journalists entering the Leinster House premises were called “traitors” by the gathered crowd.

Dail resumes after summer recess
Members of the Garda form a barrier as a car leaves Leinster House, Dublin after protesters blocked the gate (Brian Lawless/PA)

Demonstrators held signs featuring slogans such as “Irish lives matter” and “Ballybrack says no”.

Earlier this year, several gardai responded to the Ballybrack area of Co Dublin as groups of anti-migrant protesters damaged a building they did not want to be repurposed for refugees.

Outside Leinster House on Wednesday, the protesters regularly chanted: “You’ll never beat the Irish.”

The nearby National Library of Ireland shut as a result of the protest.

Later in the day, protesters moved round to the other entrance to the Dail on Merrion Street.

Their numbers had reduced to below 100 at this stage.

They attempted to form human chains at the entrance to prevent people leaving.

At one point several politicians’ cars were trapped inside the grounds before gardai moved to clear a path for them to exit.