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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 24 March, 2019
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Port Tunnel reopens after being blocked by 'yellow vest' protesters

The tunnel has since reopened.

Updated Dec 29th 2018, 4:25 PM

LR YELLOW VESTS II2A8142 Protesters blocking the tunnel. Source: http://jrnl.ie/4417321t

DUBLIN’S PORT TUNNEL was closed in both directions earlier by a protest.

Demonstrators stood on the road, blocking access to the tunnel.

The Port Tunnel has since fully reopened.

The action was part of a protest and march earlier this afternoon in Dublin city centre. The protest began at Custom House Quay, and protesters moved on to briefly block the the East-Link bridge.

LR YELLOW VESTS II2A8112 Protesters walk through the tolls. Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The majority were yellow high visibility vests, similar to the French gilets jaunes movement.

The Yellow Vest Ireland movement describes itself as a “protest against the disproportionate burden of the government’s tax and reforms that are failing the working and middle class citizens of Ireland”.

4376 Yellow Vest_90561478 The protest earlier in the city centre. Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

In a Facebook live video streamed by a page calling itself the Irish Citizen Army, protesters could be seen walking through the Port Tunnel.

They then stood at one entrance, where protesters could be seen holding a “Yellow Vest movement Ireland” banner, an Irish flag, and a banner with details of ClimateChangeAgenda.com, a website with promotes chemtrail conspiracy theories.

There was a garda presence at the protest, with officers on bikes following the protest.

Meanwhile in France, police fired tear gas at demonstrators in Paris but the turnout for round seven of the popular protests that have rocked France appeared low.

Several hundred people wearing the symbolic vests had gathered near the offices of France Televisions and the BFM TV channel in the centre of the capital shouting “Fake news” and calling for the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron.

Protesters spilled on to tram lines and lobbed projectiles at police who replied with tear gas grenades and detained several people.

Tear gas was also fired in Nantes, western France, and protests were expected in Lyon, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

In the southern city of Marseille, police said 900 protesters turned out, amid cries of “Macron out”.

The official turnout numbers have plunged with the passing weeks. The government recorded 38,600 demonstrators on December 22 compared to 282,000 for the first major demonstrations on November 17.

But leading figures within the movement that has flourished outside of trade union and political groups, say the low numbers are due to the holiday season and January will bring a resurgence of the street protests.

The focus of the protests has morphed from anger over fuel taxes to a broad rebuke of Macron, accused by critics of neglecting the rising costs of living for many in rural and small-town France.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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Nicky Ryan

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