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Eleven protesters arrested at latest anti-lockdown demonstration in Dublin

Up to 150 anti-lockdown demonstrators marched through Dublin on Saturday over the ongoing country-wide restrictions.

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Gardai speak to a member of the public on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gardai speak to a member of the public on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gardai speak to a member of the public on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

Eleven people have been arrested at an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin for failing to comply with public health guidelines, gardai said.

Up to 150 anti-lockdown demonstrators marched through Dublin on Saturday over the ongoing country-wide restrictions.

Gardai said they were aware of an event organised on social media by disparate groups planning to gather at the Wellington Monument in Phoenix.

At around 3.30pm, protesters walked from the Phoenix Park along the North Quays to the GPO on O’Connell Street and then back along the South Quays.

Many carried placards with anti-vaccination messages while others carried the Irish flag.

Gardai said that following “persistent and ongoing non-compliance” with public health regulations, officers intervened at Victoria Quay.

Organised demonstrations are banned under the current regulations.

Gardai arrested 11 people in relation to the demonstration.

They said that a number of Fixed Payment Notices (FPNs) will be issued to people attending the banned event.

Gardai said they will also carry out an investigation into the organisers of the event.

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A woman waves an Irish flag during a protest outside the headquarters of RTE in Dublin (Damian Storan/PA)

A woman waves an Irish flag during a protest outside the headquarters of RTE in Dublin (Damian Storan/PA)

PA

A woman waves an Irish flag during a protest outside the headquarters of RTE in Dublin (Damian Storan/PA)

Approximately 300 uniform and plain clothes officers monitored the protest, including public order units, peaceful crowd management unit and the dog unit.

It comes after 21 people were arrested at anti-lockdown protests for failing to comply with public health guidelines earlier this week.

A massive Garda security operation was in place across St Patrick’s Day on Wednesday to prevent planned anti-lockdown demonstrations.

Many of the arrested were in Dublin city centre where protesters arrived in small groups outside the GPO on O’Connell Street.

Today and tomorrow, 3,700 over 75-year-olds, patients of GPs, will receive either first and second doses in the Helix vaccination centre.Paul Reid

About 100 anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination protesters, the majority of whom were not wearing face masks, gathered in Herbert Park in Ballsbridge carrying banners and posters.

Campaigners also congregated outside national broadcaster RTE in Donnybrook in the south of the city chanting and carrying anti-vaccine posters.

Meanwhile, the resumption of the rollout of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine restarted in Ireland today following a precautionary pause.

The decision to recommence the vaccine comes following the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).

HSE chief executive Paul Reid tweeted: “This morning, as we recommence the AstraZeneca vaccine, our plan to protect some of the most vulnerable also continues.

“Today and tomorrow, 3,700 over 75-year-olds, patients of GPs, will receive either first and second doses in the Helix vaccination centre.”

Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn confirmed on Friday evening that it recommended the use of the jab.

The use of AstraZeneca in Ireland was paused last Sunday following reports of unusual blood clots in Norway.

Some 30,000 people that were due to get the vaccine during the week will have their vaccinations rescheduled over the coming weeks.

On Saturday, a further nine deaths of people with Covid-19 were recorded.

Seven of the deaths occurred in March, and two occurred in February.

Another 525 cases were also notified by the Department of Health on Saturday evening.

As of 8am, there were 328 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 83 were in ICU.

Meanwhile, as of March 17, 639,586 doses of Covid vaccines had been administered in the country.

PA


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