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Dublin’s anti-lockdown protests dwindle

The Liberty looks at where demonstrations against Covid measures have been occurring and hears from Dublin South-West TD John Lahart on the subject.

Three weeks after the controversial Grafton Street scenes in late February, there were reportedly 150 protesters demonstrating in Dublin on March 20th. They gathered at the Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park before heading toward the city centre. 

Protestors held banners and posters with anti-vaccination messages. Several speeches also took place outside the General Post Office (GPO), while gardaí watched from a distance before intervening. 

Arrests and FPNs were issued by Gardaí . Listowel, Ireland – 31st August 2019

Eleven arrests were made in relation to this event over the course of the afternoon. A number of Fixed Payment Notices (FPN’s) will be issued in relation to persons attending this event in breach of Public Health Regulations,”  a Garda statement said. 

In addition, 21 arrests had been made during the course of St Patrick’s Day protests.  

“It’s particularly soul-destroying for young people who are unable to pursue any sporting endeavours”

John Lahart, Fianna Fáil TD, DUBLIN SOUTH-WEST

An Gardaí Síochána made it clear from the get-go that a major Garda presence was to be expected ahead of St Patrick’s Day. Some 2,500 gardaí were deployed around the State to keep order on the streets and to prevent any incidents similar to the protests that took place last month. 

The St Patrick’s Day protests were scattered across Dublin. RTÉ headquarters in Donnybrook and Herbert Park in Ballsbridge were the meeting point for some. The GPO on O’Connell Street was also a hotspot for activity and has been a centre for protests. 

There has been a significant drop-off in numbers this month compared to the riot last month, with some demonstrators complaining about the turnout at the most recent protests. 

‘It’s particularly soul-destroying for young people who are unable to pursue any sporting endeavours’
John Lahart, FIANNA FÁIL TD

“The public understand why the lockdown restrictions are needed – while quite rightly challenging some measures. It’s particularly soul-destroying for young people who are unable to pursue any sporting endeavours,” Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart told The Liberty.  

“I think conspiracy theorists tend to flourish at times of crisis – and whereas in different times, it was possible to challenge their arguments with facts, now they have the aid of social media. I would ask people to trust legitimate and trusted news sources,” he added. 

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