Yesterday's 'Extremist' Protes...

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Yesterday's 'Extremist' Protest Intended To Disrupt Government Business


03:58 23 Oct 2020

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Gardaí faced the prospect of a frightening stampede on Grafton Street and had to intervene.

That's according to the Garda Commissioner.

11 protesters were arrested for public order offences last night.

Garda intelligence shows that the groups involved in these protests intend to disrupt Government business.

Commissioner Drew Harris said it's difficult to identify the different groups involved.

"They are a mix of groups with extremist views," he said.

"I have difficulty telling them apart because they all seem to have the same have such similar views."

Protesters Use Covert Means to Communicate

Mr Harris also expressed concern over their way of communication:

"What we find concerning with these groups is that the start an initial call on public media and then quickly turn to covert means to communicate with each other."

While a number of arrests were made, Commissioner Harris defended the Gardaí's response.

He said officer were not heavy handed and the response was proportionate.

"We've seen protests that have degenerated into violence."

While the protesters did break public heath guidelines, the Garda chief said he had "straight public order concerns".

"Their intentions appear to be to disrupt the port and disrupt the Government."

While the gathering is under investigation, Mr Harris says there's no one to negotiate with from the group.

The Commissioner says he hopes the organisers realises they are under focus and they will report them to the DPP if identified.




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