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Protest in Dublin city centre against vaccines and new Covid Certs

Protesters gathered at Custom House Quay before making their way along O’Connell Street and then to Government Buildings.

Image: PA

PROTESTERS HAVE HELD a demonstration in Dublin against ongoing restrictions in Ireland and new legislation allowing for the re-opening of indoor dining on Monday.

Large crowds congregated outside the Custom House in Dublin, as roads were blocked and traffic forced to a standstill.

PA News Agency estimates that around 1,500 people gathered after 2pm. Many were there to voice their opposition to vaccines, ongoing restrictions, and the Digital Covid Certificate – which will be used across the EU to facilitate free travel for those who are vaccinated.

These certificates will also now be used by fully vaccinated people to access indoor dining services.

From Custom House Quay, protesters made their way along O’Connell Street and then to Government Buildings where a number of speeches took place.

Many in attendance carried Irish flags and the crowd chanted “shame on you” and “no Covid pass”. There were speeches as well as a number of musical performances.

A large garda operation was in place throughout the city, which included public order unit vans as well as garda prison vans on standby.

“An Garda Síochána will adopt the approach of the Four Es which will see Gardaí engage, explain, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce,” a garda spokesperson said this evening, noting that the event passed without incident. 

The spokesperson said that the force does not provide crowd size estimates when asked. 

260 Anti covid passport protest copy Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocallireland

coronavirus-sat-jul-24-2021 Source: Niall Carson/PA

coronavirus-sat-jul-24-2021 Source: Niall Carson/PA

coronavirus-sat-jul-24-2021 Source: Niall Carson/PA

A similar demonstration also took place in Belfast.

Hundreds of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protesters marched through the city centre.

Many held placards and signs displaying anti-vaccine messages.

The rally moved on to Botanic Gardens where a number of speeches took place.

The PSNI observed the event and maintained a low-key presence but made demonstrators aware they were taking part in an illegal protest.

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Similar protests have taken place around the globe today, with thousands marching through Australia’s two biggest cities and sparking violent clashes with police in Sydney.

New South Wales Police said it recognised and supported the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, but the protest was a breach of public health orders.

anti-sanitary-pass-demonstrations-at-trocadero-paris Protesters hold flags and placards during a protest against the compulsory vaccination for certain workers and the mandatory use of the health pass called by the French government Source: Villette Pierrick/Avenir Pictures/ABACA

Meanwhile in France, far-right activists and members of the country’s yellow vest movement are holding protests against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and other venues and mandating Covid-19 vaccinations for all health care workers.

Legislators in France’s senate are debating the bill today after the lower house of parliament approved it yesterday.

French virus infections are spiking and hospital cases are also growing. The government is trying to speed up vaccinations to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals and avoid new lockdowns.

Most French adults are fully vaccinated and polls indicate a majority of French people support the new measures.

- Additional reporting from PA

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Adam Daly

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