'This is a recipe for disaster': Call for public to avoid planned demonstration in Cork 

'This is a recipe for disaster': Call for public to avoid planned demonstration in Cork 

Protesters clashing with Gardai during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city centre. PA Photo. 

Members of the public are being asked not to attend a protest against anti-Covid restrictions being organised for Cork city centre this weekend.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Colm Kelleher said a number of people have approached him regarding an event advertised on social media.

On Saturday a protest in Dublin led to violent scenes, with three Gardaí injured and more than 20 people arrested. 

“A number of people have contacted me about it, it is across various platforms,” Mr Kelleher said, “I was alarmed by it when I first heard.” 

The city councillor said as chair of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) he is asking people to discourage any participation in these events.

Protesters holding a Freedom sign during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city centre. PA Photo. 
Protesters holding a Freedom sign during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city centre. PA Photo. 

“While the right to protest is enshrined in the constitution and I completely support that, no one has the right to endanger lives. 

"Mass gatherings are prohibited and this is a recipe for disaster. The hard work we have done as a locality could be undone.” 

Mr Kelleher said he had been in touch with Gardaí Divisional Headquarters in Cork City.

“An Garda Síochána are assessing the information circulating on social media regarding a planned protest in Cork City this weekend and will be putting appropriate operational plans in place if required," he said. "An Garda Síochána will be taking all steps necessary to police such an event and will be out in strength.

“As Chair of Cork City’s JPC, I expect and know that all elected members will discourage persons intending to attend any unlawful gathering in the City given the current pandemic. I would implore members of the public not to attend any such event. Public Health has to and will come first.” 

In response to a query from The Echo, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said, there is no permit / authorisation required for such events and a decision as to whether any protest takes place rests solely with organisers.

However, the Gardaí said there are a number of Public Health measures currently in place including Regulations surrounding essential travel and they will be investigating any breaches of these regulations.

“Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate.”

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