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Large protest in Dublin last night as Dáil passed indoor dining legislation

The Dáil passed the second reading of the bill by 72 votes to 66.

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE protested last night outside the Convention Centre in Dublin as the Dáil passed legislation to allow for the re-opening of indoor dining.

Crowds gathered to voice their opposition to the Digital Covid Certificate, which will be used across the EU to facilitate free travel for those who are vaccinated.

These certificates will also now be used by fully vaccinated people to access indoor dining services.

The protest was organised to coincide with the debate and vote on the Health (Amendment No.2) Bill 2021, which allows for a phased return of indoor hospitality, initially to people who can produce verifiable evidence of vaccination or immunity from Covid-19.

The Dáil, sitting at the Convention Centre last night, passed the second reading of the bill by 72 votes to 66. 

The demonstration outside the Convention Centre started at around 8pm with crowds remaining in the area past midnight. Many in attendance carried Irish flags and the crowd chanted “shame on you” and “no Covid pass”. 

There were speeches, including by campaigner Ben Gilroy, as well as a number of musical performances. Gilroy said he was also planning to protest outside Áras an Uachtaráin to urge President Michael D Higgins not to sign the bill into law. 

Gardaí said a woman in her 30s was arrested for public order related offences at the demonstration. She has since been charged and released from custody. She is due to appear in court at a later date. 

The government is hoping the legislation can complete its passage through the Dáil and Seanad by tomorrow and then come into force next week after it is signed by the President.

The government’s plan is that the new rules would be in place for the following weekend, allowing indoor dining in restaurants and pubs take place for the first time this year.

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