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Extinction Rebellion activist arrested following 'bloody' protest outside Dublin's Clayton hotel

An Garda Síochána said it responded to a “theft incident” at a hotel in the Dublin at approximately 1.30pm.

Extinction Rebellion Ireland outside the Burlington Clayton Hotel in Dublin to protest against the Atlantic Ireland conference and Exhibition
Extinction Rebellion Ireland outside the Burlington Clayton Hotel in Dublin to protest against the Atlantic Ireland conference and Exhibition
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

A MEMBER OF Extinction Rebellion Ireland has been arrested following a protest against the fossil fuel industry in Dublin. 

Some 20 climate activists held the protest outside the Clayton Burlington Hotel where the Atlantic Ireland Conference and Exhibition was being held by the Irish Shelf Petroleum Study Group.

As part of the protest, XRI poured 15 litres of fake blood on its members to represent the “blood on the hands of the oil corporations” who were attending the annual two-day event for the petro-chemical industry and research community. 

An Garda Síochána said it responded to a “theft incident” at a hotel in the Dublin at approximately 1.30pm.

“A woman in her 20s was arrested and conveyed to Donnybrook Garda Station. The woman was released later today, pending further investigation. Investigations are ongoing.” 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie following her release, the mother-of-one who was audibly upset said she was “peacefully disturbing” the conference.

She said she was scared for her child’s future and “scared the government will continue to work with the fossil fuel industry”. 

An XRI spokesperson said gardaí were responding to a theft incident as the woman ordered a pot of tea but “didn’t get a chance to pay for it before she was escorted out of the hotel”. XRI did not specify who had escorted the woman out. 

2348 Protest_90583677 Source: Leah Farrell

Along with signs and fake blood, XRI protesters held a large drilling licence with a bloody handprint in an effort to “call attention to the relationship the Irish Government has with the petroleum industry”.

Seán Canney, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development, gave the opening address at the conference yesterday, an address XRI claims had no mention of climate change.

Canney says that claim was “not at all correct”. 

In a copy of a speech seen by TheJournal.ie, Canney said the government continues to be committed to exploration of all natural resources, “while respecting sustainable development principles” but that gas remains an important transition fuel.

On the government’s climate action plan he said: 

The Plan will inevitably result in a reduction in Ireland’s use of fossil fuels and the government is cognisant that this will have an impact on exploration investment offshore Ireland. My officials are working hard to establish policy principals to inform your companies’ investment decisions. However, I know that many of you here today also have energy interests beyond oil and gas and I am sure this Plan will also present you with new opportunities for innovation and investments in renewable technologies.

XRI is calling on the government to enact climate change legislation and to revoke all oil and gas prospecting licences.

“We don’t want to condemn people. We understand that the people inside the building behind me, the oil executives, they’re human beings as well,”  XRI member Fabian McGinty-O’Neill said. 

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“We’re not trying to promote any sort of aggression against them. We just think they need to realise the error of their ways. We as a group of people have the power to push back against major corporations that are condemning us to a very uncertain future.”  

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Adam Daly

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