'An outdoor summer cannot mean baton charges': Concerns raised as 19 arrested after crowds clash with gardaí

'An outdoor summer cannot mean baton charges': Concerns raised as 19 arrested after crowds clash with gardaí

Gardaí make an arrest at Grafton Street in Dublin during disturbances on Saturday night. Photo: Damien Storan.

Nineteen people have been arrested for alleged public order offences following another night of disorder in Dublin city centre.

Glass bottles and other missiles were thrown at gardaí after they clashed with large crowds gathered in the city on Saturday night.

Gardaí said that during the evening, crowds had gathered in Dublin city, with the majority of people socialising responsibly and “enjoying outdoor activity”.

However, gardaí said that a smaller group was persistently involved in anti-social behaviour and public disorder.

Gardaí form a line on Dawson Street in Dublin as they carry out an operation to disperse crowds following disturbances on Saturday night. Photo: Damien Storan. 
Gardaí form a line on Dawson Street in Dublin as they carry out an operation to disperse crowds following disturbances on Saturday night. Photo: Damien Storan. 

Gardaí said they came under attack from glass bottles at various locations, and a number of criminal damage incidents occurred, including a bin being set on fire on South William Street.

One person, who was not a member of a group taking part in any public disorder incidents, was assaulted and taken to hospital.

Two members of An Garda Síochána were injured and received treatment while one garda patrol vehicle was damaged.

Between 7pm and 9pm gardaí dispersed crowds from Stephen’s Green, Temple Bar and South William Street.

Arrests made 

In total, 19 people were arrested for public order offences, including two juveniles who were released and referred for the Juvenile Diversion Programme.

Six people were given a 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.

A spokesman for the gardaí said: “In support of Government announcements on reopening the economy and society with a specific continuing emphasis on outdoor activity, An Garda Síochána will continue to patrol and manage crowds on public streets and spaces.

“While extra facilities are being provided by local authorities, An Garda Síochána appeals for consideration for other persons using the spaces, local residents and businesses.

“Where crowds gather gardaí responsibility is preserving public order and preventing and investigating any criminal offence, which may occur.

Gardaí form a line on Dawson Street in Dublin as they carry out an operation to disperse crowds following disturbances on Saturday night. Photo: Damien Storan. 
Gardaí form a line on Dawson Street in Dublin as they carry out an operation to disperse crowds following disturbances on Saturday night. Photo: Damien Storan. 

“An Garda Síochána has been consistent from the start in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, based on our tradition of policing by consent, An Garda Síochána will continue to focus on the approach of engage, explain and encourage the public, with enforcement only as a last resort.” 

Gardai appealed to the public to support and comply with public health guidelines to avoid crowded areas and large gatherings and take personal responsibility, wear face coverings in open spaces, and maintain social distancing.

“The wearing of face masks outdoors and social distancing are public health guidelines and are not penal regulations,” the spokesman added.

Alarm at scenes 

On Saturday, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said she spoke to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to raise her “deep alarm at scenes” in Dublin on Friday night.

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

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more