Thursday 27 June 2019

Seven arrested over violent Dail protests

Gardai block protesters outside Dail, which had no connection with the arrests. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Gardai block protesters outside Dail, which had no connection with the arrests. Photo: Caroline Quinn

SEVEN people including three known dissident Republicans were arrested in a garda operation following on from disorder at protests outside the Dail last month.

The suspects were seized at a number of locations, including Crumlin and Nutgrove, during 5am raids that involved armed and regular officers.

All those arrested were males. Two are teenagers who are not linked to IRA activity.



The mission follows an investigation at Pearse Street Garda Station into events at Molesworth Street on the afternoon of September 18 last.

The disturbances led officers to establish an incident room in which hundreds of hours of CCTV footage were viewed and alleged culprits identified.

A senior source explained: "Violent disorder is a serious offence that carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years' jail.

"Gardai feel that a strong message must be sent out to people engaged in the type of behaviour that took place last month, especially with more protests planned at that location on Tuesday at Budget Day.

"People have a right to peaceful protest, but some of what happened last month was completely unacceptable."

Two of the arrested men, from Nutgrove, south Dublin, are brothers who had close links to the faction led by slain Real IRA leader Alan Ryan.

Another is a known dissident from the Crumlin area of the capital.

Sources say that all of those arrested were acting as professional rioters at the protest.

"Most of them even had a special solution in their possession to clean their eyes from pepper spray – they knew what they were at," a source said.

"They came prepared and they displayed an unacceptable level of violence."

The protests caused traffic standstill in Dublin. While most of the demonstrators were peaceful, a small number taunted officers, blocked traffic and attempted to break barricades outside Leinster House.

Gardai also used pepper spray against a small group that attempted to bypass a cordon on the junction of Kildare Street and Molesworth Street.

Another group left the Dail to march down O'Connell Street, where they came to a halt at the bridge. They were then joined by more protesters until about 300 people were at the scene.

This arrests bring to 10 the amount of people held over the incidents.

A 55-year-old woman was one of three people previously arrested. She is due to appear in court at a later date. Two men aged 23 and 43 were also released without charge.


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