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Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested and released after chaining themselves to gates of Leinster House

Dozens of gardaí formed a human chain around protestors as their locks were cut off the gate looking onto Merrion Square.

Updated Oct 11th 2019, 9:34 AM

whatsapp-image-2019-10-10-at-23-23-14 Protesters stage a sit-in outside the gates of Leinster House Source: Stephen McDermott/TheJournal.ie

FIVE PROTESTERS WERE arrested after chaining themselves to the gates of Leinster House last night. 

Dozens of gardaí formed a human chain around Extinction Rebellion protesters as the locks attaching the protesters to the gates of Leinster House at Merrion Square were cut off.

The incident took place over a number of hours last night and early this morning.

Gardaí said this morning that four males and one female were arrested during the incident and taken to Pearse Street Garda station before being later released without charge.

In a Facebook live stream during the protest, the climate activists said they had chained themselves to the gates stop the blocking of the Climate Emergency Bill, to block the LNG Shannon pipeline, and for the Citizens Assembly recommendations to be implemented.

The five protesters were at the site for a number of hours, and it is understood that around 15 staff at Leinster House were unable to leave as a result of the demonstration, including TDs Alan Farrell and Michael Fitzmaurice.

Gardaí worked for up to two hours from around 11pm to remove them, as dozens of other members of the Extinction Rebellion group stood by in support.

The five were each taken into custody as they were removed, but it is not yet known if they will be charged.

Demonstrators who were not arrested staged a sit-down protest in front of the gates immediately after the final arrest, in an attempt to block vehicles from leaving Leinster House.

However, gardaí removed a number of individuals blocking a route out of the building, before those waiting inside managed to leave by car towards Baggot Street. 

Earlier on yesterday evening, a number of barriers were also placed by gardaí on the street in front of Leinster House on Kildare Street and at Stephen’s Green, in order to allow cars to exit the Dáil. 

However, some of the protesters situated themselves against a barrier facing Stephen’s Green, and as a result drivers in Leinster House were unable to exit by car.

They were held up behind the Leinster House gates for a period of about an hour until an alternative route was found for them to leave.

Dozens of gardaí were at the scene as a number of cars queued to leave Government buildings.

Protesters remained in the area after the cars left Leinster House, and traffic was diverted on Nassau Street, Molesworth Street and Stephen’s Green.

With reporting from Stephen McDermott.

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