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Gardaí

Gardaí arrested 45 people at 'anti-immigration' protests in Dublin last year

The Assistant Garda Commissioner for the Dublin Metropolitan Region said there were 235 protests “promoting anti-immigration sentiment” in Dublin in 2023.

GARDAÍ ARRESTED 45 people during anti-immigrant protests in Dublin last year. 

Assistant Garda Commissioner for the Dublin Metropolitan Region Angela Willis told the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee this afternoon that a total of 54 people were arrested during the policing of 25 protests of all types in 2023. 

Of those, 45 were made in relation to “anti-immigration sentiment”, while the other arrests were related to other protest activity, she said.

Willis also said that in addition to the 54 people that were arrested, there are also a number of cases currently before the Director of Public Prosecutions “in relation to other behaviour that happened in the course of protest activity”. 

The Assistant Commissioner told the meeting that Gardaí will sometimes not make arrests in the course of “volatile protest activity” to ensure that people that are taking part in a protest peacefully “don’t get caught up in a worse situation than what we’re already dealing with”. 

“But that’s not to say we don’t follow up afterwards. We have many cases before the DPP at the minute for consideration in relation to further charges that may arise,” she added. 

In total, Gardaí policed 617 protests across the Dublin metropolitan region last year, with 235 of those “promoting anti-immigration sentiment”.

Last year saw anti-immigration protests held across the country last year on foot of far-right activity and local discontent about the placing of international protection applicants in local areas. 

One protest that took place outside Leinster House, which resulted in 13 people being arrested for public order offences, saw some of those gathered bearing signs and banners featuring anti-immigration slogans.

Willis said Gardaí are “very mindful of the harm that can cause to people that are fleeing persecution”.

She said that dedicated inspectors are liaising with the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) in order to reach minority and marginalised people that are being accommodated across the capital and to ensure that there is coordinated information-sharing between the relevant people involved in that space.

She said there is increased capacity in the public order units in the city, as well as an increase in tactical advisors and operational managers across the region “to make sure we have that capacity to respond and continue to respond.”

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