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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 17 August, 2018
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Stand-off between gardaí and locals at protest against clinic which 'treats sex offenders'

The gates to the clinic were shut with bike locks, which had to be removed by gardaí.

Image: Facebook

GARDAÍ HAVE BEEN called out during a protest at a Dublin clinic today that’s run by a company offering psychological services to sex offenders.

Protesters and gardaí remained in a stand-off for at least two hours, with around 15 members of the force standing near the entrance to the clinic and demonstrators remaining near the facility.

The company that runs the clinic, which has three different locations, provides a range of services including services for vulnerable adults and children. It also offers group therapy for men who have committed sexual offences, and a vocal protest against this aspect of its services has emerged in recent weeks.

The director of the clinic has not confirmed that sex offenders are being treated at the Sallynoggin location.

The clinic had its entrance locked shut today after activists put bike locks on the gates. Gardaí had to remove the locks using an angle grinder. Gardaí confirmed to TheJournal.ie that they are attending the scene of a protest in the area, and said that no arrests have taken place.

A meeting was held on Monday 9 July to discuss locals’ issues with the clinic. Protests have been taking place in recent weeks, with a video posted to Facebook from 12 July showing a clinic staff member being questioned by members of the public before they were allowed through the gate into the building.

A video posted to Facebook today showed around 15 members of the gardaí, some wearing high-visibility clothes, standing near the entrance of the area where the clinic is located.

The company which runs the clinic has three different locations, and provides psychological services including: psychological assessment, working with members of the clergy where allegations of sexual abuse has taken place, supervision for people who work with offenders or people at risk of offending, and group therapy for men who have committed sexual offences.

It’s understood that the company which runs the centre provides services to vulnerable people, including children.

Local councillors Dave O’Keefe and Cormac Devlin met with the director of service at the clinic last week to discuss locals’ concerns.

Protests have been taking place outside the clinic in recent days, but this is the first time demonstrators have taken direct action.

A petition set up against the centre has received 409 signatures.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Devlin, who was not present at the protest today, told TheJournal.ie:

“Residents felt the location of this service, adjacent to two primary schools, a secondary school and in the middle of a residential neighborhood was completely unsatisfactory.

“I facilitated a meeting between residents and the director of the service. Residents were not satisfied with assurances given.

“In my view the community in Sallynoggin have the right to be safe and to feel safe.”

The company in question said it would not be commenting on the incident.

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