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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Leinster House cancels Open House participation after Extinction Rebellion protest

Five protesters were arrested last night after chaining themselves outside the gates.

Scenes at Leinster House last night.
Scenes at Leinster House last night.
Image: Stephen McDermott

LEINSTER HOUSE HAS cancelled its participation in Open House Dublin this weekend due to the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests. 

A large group of protesters have been camping in Merrion Street South throughout the week and have held various protests at Leinster House and around the city. 

On Wednesday, the group held a fashion show outside Penney’s O’Connell street shop to protest low-price, mass-produced clothing. 

Earlier today, Extinction Rebellion protesters pasted scientific papers on climate change onto the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment building in Dublin.

Five protesters were arrested last night after chaining themselves outside the gates of Leinster House, preventing around 15 staff from exiting the building, including TDs Alan Farrell and Michael Fitzmaurice. 

The protesters have since been released without charge. 

Speaking today on the decision to close the Houses of the Oireachtas for Open House, Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said: “We are bitterly disappointed to have to take this course of action.

“However, in light of the serious incident which occurred last night…we cannot take any further health and safety risks for the hundreds of guests who wished to attend and equally we cannot place our staff at risk,” he said.

An open weekend will be rescheduled “as soon as possible” Ó Fearghaíl added, “and we look forward to welcoming many visitors to see the restoration and conservation of their National Parliament.”

Leinster House was due to open to the public between 11am and 5pm this weekend. 

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed to that its building – also located on Kildare Street – would remain open for this year’s Open House. 

Open House Dublin first began in 2005 and sees some of Dublin’s most famous properties opening their doors to the public.

This year’s Open House takes places today, tomorrow and Sunday.

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