Hundreds of drinkers dispersed from gathering points around the city centre
A senior garda has defended the force’s use of shields and batons amid scenes of disorder in Dublin city that resulted in at least 33 arrests over the weekend.
The hundreds of Scots who had planned to spend the weekend there will in the light of this be delighted in retrospect that they didn’t go on this popular citybreak.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Anne Marie Cagney said three gardaí had been injured as they attempted to disperse crowds and they had the right to protect themselves.
Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys also defended the gardaí, saying they were trying to protect the public.
“While none of us want to see situations where An Garda Síochána deploys the Public Order Unit, they must do so on occasion to protect the public and their colleagues,” the Minister tweeted.
Nineteen people were arrested on Saturday night for alleged public order offences following a second evening of disorder in Dublin city centre which again saw glass bottles thrown at officers.
After an initially quiet late afternoon and early evening, a larger group of around 200 people gathered on South Anne Street at around 9pm.
In statement, gardaí said they “came under fire from an assault of multiple glass bottles” on this street from a group of approximately 200 young people.
Gardaí said they deployed “soft cap” public order units with shields and dispersed crowds along South Anne Street and Dawson Street.
The Garda statement said 19 people were arrested for public order offences in the city, including two juveniles who were released and referred for the Juvenile Diversion Programme. Six people received the adult caution, one person was released pending a summons for public order offences, while 10 people were charged with public order offences and will appear in court at a later date.
The statement added: “Throughout the course of the evening, members of An Garda Síochána came under attack from glass bottles at various locations, a number of criminal damage incidents occurred including a bin being set on fire on South William Street.”
Two members of An Garda Síochána were injured and received treatment while one Garda Patrol Vehicle was damaged.
Saturday’s disorder followed similar scenes on Friday evening when one garda was injured and 14 people were arrested after bottles were thrown at gardaí on South William Street.
Ms Cagney defended the force’s use of shields and batons in response to the unrest.
The assistant commissioner said three gardaí had been injured in disturbances and they had the right to protect themselves.
She said the police response over the weekend had been a “graduated response” similar to that which was used on St Patrick’s Day and on other bank holiday weekends.
“My job as assistant commissioner is to provide safety and security for our members and those shields will provide additional safety for our members,” she said.
She blamed the violence on a cohort of “like-minded young individuals, predominately teenagers, who are coming into the city and causing trouble.
“They are a cohort of individuals who won’t accept that they have to respect and abide by the laws.
“They have taken it into their own hands and they are trying to cause trouble for their communities.
“It is not fair on the good citizens of Dublin to have that behaviour on their doorsteps.
“This is unacceptable behaviour. We have had missiles thrown at gardaí, we have communities living in fear. This will not be tolerated.”
Ms Cagney said most people who have come into the city have been well behaved and are enjoying an outdoor summer.
She said parks had been cleared in consultation with the park attendants, but there are no plans to close off streets at present.
“The reality is that an outdoor summer is one that people have been told they need to prepare for. That’s across the state and we need to make sure that we are prepared for that,” Ms Farrell said.
“People were told that they should prepare for an outdoor summer and very clearly it doesn’t seem like things are in place for that to actually happen.
“We need to make sure that the scenes that we saw at the weekend don’t happen again.
“I think we need to be cognisant of the fact as well, there seems to be some sort of a blame game amongst certain cohorts saying young people are there and causing havoc.”