Ireland

Donnelly criticises ‘thuggish behaviour’ aimed at gardaí in Dublin

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has criticised “thuggish behaviour” directed at gardaí on Friday evening in Dublin city centre during which 14 arrests were made for alleged public order offences.

Gardaí said the vast majority of people wer socialising responsibly, however, they added there were some “organised groups” congregating at locations including South William Street, St Stephen’s Green Park and Templebar Square, according to The Irish Times.

One group of people gathered on South William Street launched glass bottles and other missiles at officers, with a statement from Gardaí confirming one officer was injured during the incident and one patrol vehicle was damaged.

Of the 14 people arrested, nine were adults and five were juveniles. Six people were charge with public order offences, two received an adult caution, one was released pending a summons for public order offences, and the five juveniles were released and referred for juvenile liaison officers.

Mr Donnelly told RTÉ “nobody has the right to attack our gardaí, absolutely nobody”.

“It in no way represents our county,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she spoke with the Garda Commissioner to raise concerns regarding the conduct of gardaí.

Videos were shared online showing officers charging crowds on South William Street with their batons drawn.

“Spoke with Garda Commissioner to raise my deep alarm at scenes in Dublin City centre last night,” Ms McDonald tweeted.

“An outdoor summer cannot mean baton charges on our streets. We need proper joined up planning to facilitate safe social enjoyment and safety for Gardai. All agencies must engage now,” she added.

Officials have urged members of the public to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions over the bank holiday weekend and to avoid large gatherings and socialising indoors.

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