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Dublin City councillor issues complaint against Gemma O'Doherty over hijab comments

A formal complaint was made to gardaí yesterday.

Protests have been led by O'Doherty at Google headquarters in recent weeks.
Protests have been led by O'Doherty at Google headquarters in recent weeks.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A FORMAL COMPLAINT over Gemma O’Doherty saying to ‘burn any hijabs you see’ has been made to gardaí by a Dublin City councillor. 

Fine Gael councillor for Dublin South-East Inner City Danny Byrne said the comment added to his concern over statements from former Irish Independent journalist Gemma O’Doherty.  

“What she said, that for me is a step too far… There has to come a point when you say ‘enough’,” Byrne told TheJournal.ie.

“I have heard complaints from many people about her possible incitement to not only hatred, but violence,” he said. “It’s now in the hands of the gardaí.”

Byrne reported the statement made by O’Doherty in a Facebook Live video on 15 August to gardaí yesterday. 

“If you are a victim, cover yourself up. I would say wear a hijab but I would rather burn any hijabs you see, they should be burned,” O’Doherty said in the video. 

In the video, she was instructing people who would be attending a protest to cover their faces if they so choose. 

She later tweeted: “I am of course in favour of burning the burka and stand in solidarity with all of the women in the Middle East doing so.”

O’Doherty had sent tweets regarding the chair of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council Dr Umar Al-Qadri who said her posts were “nothing but defamation”. He added that he will be seeking legal advice on the issue. 

Tweet by @Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri Source: Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri/Twitter

O’Doherty has been engaging in protests on Barrow Street in recent weeks. Councillors met with local authorities and gardaí last Friday to discuss the protests being held outside Google’s Dublin Offices. 

The meeting was requested by Byrne and was attended by seven local councillors. 

“This protest has been upsetting local residents and people working in the area. I have already asked for Dublin City Council to monitor the noise being generated,” Byrne said in a statement. 

He said he has also asked the gardaí to ensure there is no obstruction to people “going about their daily business.” 

An Garda Síochána said it does not comment on named individuals. 

“I have worked abroad. It is not easy to leave your own home to travel to a distant country to live and work. Nobody has the right to make it even more difficult by spreading lies and hatred about others,” Byrne said in a statement. 

“I will leave no stone unturned in my efforts to protect the local residents and keep our streets safe.” 

The demonstrations by O’Doherty and her supporters outside Google’s Dublin building began after O’Doherty was suspended from YouTube, which is owned by Google.

She violated its policies on hate speech and harassment after posting a video criticising ethnic minorities in Ireland. 

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