Ireland

Significant Garda presence as protests take place in Dublin

Around 1,000 people attended an anti-immigration demonstration in the city centre.

People joined the Ireland Says No gathering in Dublin
Immigration protest People joined the Ireland Says No gathering in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Gardai in Dublin have mounted a significant security operation as an anti-immigration protest and a counter-protest took place in the city.

Around 1,000 people attended the anti-immigration event which began at the Garden of Remembrance in the afternoon and travelled down O’Connell Street to the Customs House.

Some protesters carried Irish flags, as well as signs and banners with slogans such as “Ireland is full” and “Irish Lives Matter”.

Meanwhile, several hundred people attended a pro-refugee rally which was addressed by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett.

A large Garda presence in the centre of Dublin, including officers on horseback, acted as a line between both protests as they passed each other.



More than 300 Garda members were on duty in the area. Eleven arrests were made.

A Gardai spokesperson said a small group attempted to cause traffic disruption.

Garda Chief Superintendent McMenamin said: “Gardai had to police a challenging environment with a number of public gatherings organised and attended by persons with divergent and opposing views whilst also managing the rights of citizens to enjoy the amenity that is Dublin city centre.

“Despite the challenging environment and the intensity of opposing interactions, particularly on O’Connell street, the events passed off primarily peacefully.

“I want to thank the business community and public transport companies in Dublin City Centre for their support throughout the afternoon.”

There was a visible Garda presence in Dublin
Immigration protest There was a visible Garda presence in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

There was no major disorder although there was some disruption to public transport.

Among those who attended the pro-refugee rally was Game Of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham, who has worked with a number of refugee charities.

He said: “I’ve seen what refugees need… I’ve been a migrant.”

Protesters take part in the United Against Racism pro-refugee rally on O’Connell Street
Immigration protest Protesters take part in the United Against Racism pro-refugee rally on O’Connell Street (Niall Carson/PA)

Referring to the anti-immigration protest, he said: “They are unfortunately blaming a government-sponsored housing crisis on migrants and refugees.

“There is a shortage of housing, there is also over 150,000 vacant homes in this country that aren’t being used.

“I am down here supporting migrants and refugees.”