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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 25 August, 2019
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'Streets are for the people': Dublin street blocked by protesters as part of 'car-free' demonstration

Demonstrators are calling for more public spaces in the city for people.

Image: Twitter/Dublin Commuter Coalition

A GROUP OF transport and environmental protesters have blocked Dublin’s South William Street from traffic in a ‘car-free’ protest this afternoon.

Members of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, Dublin Commuter Coalition, the Irish Pedestrian Network and Extinction Rebellion have gathered to fight against what they say is the dominance of motor vehicles in Irish towns and cities.

A number of activists wearing anti-pollution masks installed traffic-prevention measures on the street at around 10am, with images showing chairs and tables blocking the road between Wicklow Street and Chatham Row.

The protest follows a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency which revealed that air pollution in Dublin represents a possible public health risk and regularly exceeds levels deemed safe by the European Union.

“We are extremely concerned about the toxic levels of air pollution being created by motor vehicles on a daily basis,” Janet Horner of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said.

“Poisonous air harms all of us, but particularly the most vulnerable.

“This is a public health emergency and we need to take immediate action to reduce motor traffic and to create clean air zones throughout the city. People have a right to clean air.”

The groups say they will continue with similar actions on other streets in the capital until the government understands that “streets are for people, not cars”.

Green Party councillor Neasa Hourigan, founder of the Irish Pedestrian Network, said that the groups were calling for the creation of more public places for people.

“South William Street should have been pedestrianised years ago, and today we intend to show how even our most urban streets should be a place where people with disabilities and young children can access the public realm with ease,” she said.

A garda spokesman told TheJournal.ie that the demonstration is authorised, but could not confirm how long it would last.

AA Roadwatch also reports that there are no unusual delays around the city centre this afternoon.

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