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19 people arrested for public order offences in Dublin city centre during significant garda operation last night

The arrests, included two juveniles, and two gardaí injured in the disturbances across central Dublin.

Updated Jun 6th 2021, 12:38 PM

GARDAÍ ARRESTED 19 people, including two juveniles, for public order offences during a largescale policing operation in Dublin last night.

In a statement this morning gardaí said they began to clear streets at 7pm in the Templebar, St Stephen’s Green and South William Street areas. 

There were large amounts of uniform and Public Order Unit gardaí involved in the operation that lasted several hours. 

The garda statement said that the vast majority of people socialising on the streets did so responsibly but they said there was a small group causing trouble. 

“However, An Garda Síochána encountered and engaged with a smaller group which was persistently involved in antisocial behaviour and public disorder. 

“Between approximately 7pm and 9pm Gardaí dispersed crowds from Stephen’s Green, Temple Bar and South William Street.

“In total, 19 people were arrested for public order offences in Dublin City Centre, including two juveniles who were released and referred for Juvenile Diversion Programme.

“Six persons received the Adult Caution, one person was released pending a summons for public order offences, while 10 people were charged with public order offences and will appear in court at a later date,” the statement said. 

6632 South William Street A garda extinguishes a fire in a bin on South William Street during the operation. Source: Sam Boal

The garda statement added that officers engaged in the operation were attacked at multiple locations. 

“Throughout the course of the evening, members of An Garda Síochána came under attack from glass bottles at various locations, a number of criminal damage incidents occurred including a bin being set on fire on South William Street.

“One person, who was not a member of a group partaking in any public disorder incidents, was assaulted and taken to hospital.   

“Two members of An Garda Síochána were injured and received treatment while one Garda Patrol Vehicle was damaged,” the statement added. 

Gardaí said that the operation was in support of Government announcements on reopening the economy and society with a specific continuing emphasis on outdoor activity.

Assistant Commissioner Ann Marie Cagney who led last night’s operations speaking this morning said that gardaí will not tolerate bad behaviour in the city centre. 

6944 Garda People run from Public Order Unit gardaí on Dawson Street, Dublin last night. Source: Sam Boal

“Unfortunately yesterday evening and again the evening before we had a cohort of individuals who just won’t accept that there are respect and laws that must be abided to.

“So they have done taken into their own hands to try and cause trouble for communities and again this is unacceptable behaviour. We have had a number of missiles thrown at gardaí, parts of our community who are left in fear and this will not be tolerated. It is just unacceptable behaviour,” she said. 

The Assistant Commissioner said that those involved had travelled into the city to cause trouble. 

“It is not coordinated, in the sense that it is coordinated on social media but we are saying it is a group of like minded individual, predominantly male who are coming into the city and causing trouble.

“We will not accept that behaviour and it is not good enough for the good citizens of Dublin to have that kind of behaviour on their doorsteps,” she added. 

Cagney defended the use of the Public Order Unit and said that it was necessary to use shields to protect gardaí and the public.

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“Again our response through out the policing activities has been a graduated response. When you see last night’s response that is part of a defensive response we put in place to protect our members. We have had three members of An Garda Síochána injured over this weekend and I will not tolerate that.

“My job as Assistant Commissioner is to provide safety for our members and the community and in that regard those shields provide that additional protection for our members,” she added. 

Gardaí had been seizing alcohol on the streets last night from people in the area and Cagney added that the sale of such products was a challenge to the officers. 

She also responded to calls by Richard Guiney of Dublin Town that the alcohol should be seized earlier in line with policing St Patrick’s Day.  

“We work in partnership with the business community and that partnership is very important to us.

“We have had good consultation to that particular approach over last number of weeks. Our approach to this weekend has been very similar to our approach to St Patrick’s Day.

“We must rely on primary legislation that does allow for the sale of alcohol in our cities. The seizure and confiscation of alcohol is something we do consider and have relied on as part of a graduated response.

“The sale of alcohol is a challenge indeed but we have a very robust policing plan in place. We want to support our communities and so they can enjoy this summer,” Cagney added. 

The gardaí said they have no plans to request the closure of parks and other areas in the coming days.

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