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Garda injured and six arrested during rally against hate speech law

Demonstrators from rival sides were forced apart by gardaí as the rally took place outside Leinster House.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A MEMBER OF An Garda Síochána was injured yesterday after a number of protesters clashed during a rally against hate speech legislation in Dublin.

Demonstrators from rival sides were forced apart by gardaí as the rally took place outside Leinster House on Saturday afternoon.

Six men were arrested during the protest. Gardaí did not disclose the sides of the protest the men were on. They have since been released pending a court appearance at a later date. 

Gardaí confirmed that uniformed gardáí and members of the public order unit were in attendance at the protest. 

“A garda member was injured during the incident and received injuries to his hand,” a garda spokesperson said. 

It is understood that the Irish Freedom Party were taking part in a demonstration.

A number of people were waving Irish flags and holding placards stating “free speech is a human right”.

Videos posted on social media show clashes between the rival protest groups. 

Gardaí were forced to push the counter-protesters back as they attempted to move towards those taking part in the free speech rally.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he wanted to strengthen hate speech legislation.

A public consultation was launched last year in a bid to update Ireland’s law on hate speech.

- With reporting from PA

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Adam Daly

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