Update from Gardaí at 22:30: Of the 23 persons arrested during disturbances in Dublin City Centre this afternoon,
• 13 have appeared before the Criminal Court of Justice and have been remanded in custody to appear before Cloverhill District Court at a later date.
• 7 persons were charged with offences and released on station bail
• 3 Juveniles have been released for consideration of inclusion in the Juvenile Diversion Programme.
Today 27th February 2021, An Garda Síochána put in place a policing operation in relation to gatherings planned on social media by disparate groups to take place in Dublin City Centre. In support of this operation a number of public spaces in the city centre were closed to prevent any gatherings taking place.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended are currently in force.
From approximately 1:30pm persons commenced to assemble in the Grafton Street area in breach of Public Health Regulations.
An Garda Síochána has been consistent in our graduated policing response (engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce) to supporting Public Health Regulations and guidelines in line with our tradition of policing by consent. Garda members engaged with the gathered individuals over a considerable period of time.
Following continued and orchestrated non-compliance with Public Health Regulations and failing to comply with directions from An Garda Síochána, the gathering became violent on occasions with members of An Garda Síochána targeted with fireworks, missiles and spit.
Gardaí were forced to intervene. 23 persons have been arrested under Public Order Legislation. 3 Garda personnel were injured during the incident. One required hospital treatment for his injuries.
The policing operation initially involved approximately 125 members of An Garda Síochána, Uniformed Personnel, Plain clothes, Public Order Units, Garda Mounted Unit and Garda Dog Unit. During the course of the operation further resources were redeployed from across the DMR region in support.
The arrested persons were transported to City Centre Garda stations.
A special Sitting of Dublin District Court will take place this evening in the Criminal Courts of Justice, Parkgate Street at 8pm where a number of the arrested persons will be charged.
Speaking this evening Commissioner Harris stated:
An Garda Síochána have made 23 arrests so far in relation to the disturbances in Dublin City centre today. A major investigation is now underway to seek and bring to justice those that have committed offences today. Gardaí have also noted a number of individuals outside their home without a legitimate excuse.
This was a protest that sits outside the normal behaviours of our society. These are not mainstream groups, the great majority of our society are compliant with the regulations and are living within these regulations in order to supress COVID-19.
An Garda Síochána responded in a professional manner today which resulted in calm returning to the city centre. We will maintain an active presence in the City tonight to ensure that the City Centre remains safe and secure tonight.
Statement by the Minister for Justice
I have spoken to the Garda Commissioner this evening and he has told me the disturbance in Dublin is being brought under control.
I know there have been a number of arrests already today and a special court sitting is being arranged to make sure these law-breakers are prosecuted speedily. I understand fixed charge notices have also been issued to a number of people.
I want to commend the courage and professionalism of the Gardaí on duty today in Dublin who responded with great control and discipline in an extremely challenging situation.
This situation was completely unacceptable and was an insult to so many who have worked so hard in the fight against Covid-19 and to those who have died.
This mindless thuggery showed a wilful and blatant disregard for the public health rules which are needed to help us all and keep us safe.
Statement by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin
I utterly condemn the protests in Dublin city-centre today, which posed an unacceptable risk to both the public and gardaí.
The large gathering, in the face of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, showed a complete lack of respect to the people who have made huge sacrifices during this pandemic.
Nor can we tolerate the thuggish behaviour or attacks on gardaí, who have the public’s utmost respect as they continue to protect and serve our society in difficult circumstances.
There can be no justification for the march or the violence that unfolded, and I pay tribute to members of An Garda Síochána who moved quickly to make arrests and restore order.
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