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FG: Gardaí 'instructed blinds to be pulled' as protests gathered outside Árd Fheis

Gardaí reportedly advised that blinds be pulled at the Convention Centre as anti-household charge protesters gathered outside.

FINE GAEL has said that the decision to pull the blinds down on the side of the Convention Centre, stopping people inside from viewing external demonstrations against the Household Charge, was made on the instructions of the Gardaí.

Numerous journalists inside the Convention Centre press room say that the blinds on the windows that looked out onto the protests at Spencer Dock were closed by organisers this afternoon.

A Fine Gael spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the blinds had been pulled on that side of the building “on instruction from the Gardaí”.

A Garda spokesperson declined to confirm Fine Gael’s account of events, saying the police force did not usually comment on operational matters.

A small number of protesters gathered there earlier this afternoon before a larger crowd of a few thousand gathered to protest against the imposition of a €100 household charge for which the registration deadline falls today.

This picture by Photocall Ireland’s Laura Hutton shows the numbers that had gathered:

From inside the press room, Irish Times political reporter Mary Minihan tweeted a picture of the blinds being closed while Politics.ie‘s David Cochrane tweeted a photo of the blinds partially opened.

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Junior Education Minister and Fine Gael TD Ciaran Cannon tweeted to state that the blinds had been closed on Gardaí advice and denounce “conspiracy theories”:

In pictures: The 76th Fine Gael Ard Fheis gets underway in Dublin

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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