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Arrests amid major Garda presence as anti-lockdown events take place in Dublin

16 arrests had been made as of 3pm this afternoon, gardaí said.

Gardaí on Dublin's O'Connell Street today.
Gardaí on Dublin's O'Connell Street today.
Image: Leah Farrell

A MAJOR GARDA operation is continuing in Dublin after a number of anti-lockdown protests were organised to mark St Patrick’s Day.

Events were organised for O’Connell Street in the city centre, Herbert Park in south Dublin and at the RTÉ campus in Donnybrook.

The Herbert Park event was by far the largest of the three – with smaller numbers turning out for the other two protests.

The park event was billed by organisers as a ‘family and mental health day’. It’s estimated several hundred people attended.

Arrests were made on O’Connell Street earlier as people attempted to gather.

A small number of protestors also gathered outside RTÉ in Donnybrook. A large Garda presence was observed at the scene with a number of vehicles and gardaí mounted on horses present, and a Garda helicopter overhead.

In a statement this evening, gardaí confirmed 21 people - 17 male and four female – had been arrested in connection with the anti-lockdown events as of 8pm this evening.

Some 14 people appeared before a special sitting of Dublin District Court this evening and seven people were charged with offences before being released on station bail.

RTE protest 001 Protestors standing on the pedestrian overpass beside the entrance to RTÉ earlier today. Source: Sam Boal

“This has not been a normal St Patrick’s Day,” Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security Anne Marie McMahon said in a statement.

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“I acknowledge the huge level of compliance and social responsibility demonstrated today.

“I appeal to the public to continue this effort into this evening, please do not engage in house gatherings or parties or congregate in public spaces and amenities.”

The increased Garda presence came after a protest in Dublin city centre turned violent last month. Three gardaí were injured following clashes with demonstrators at the Grafton Street event.

- With reporting by Daragh Brophy 

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