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Dail gates rammed by protest truck

The front gates of the Dail have been rammed with a cement mixer truck as members returned after their lengthy summer recess.

The words "Toxic Bank Anglo" were written in red letters along the barrel of the truck, which hit the guarded gates of the Dail at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin, at 7.15am on Wednesday..

A 41-year-old man was arrested at the scene and is being detained at Pearse Street garda station. No one was injured in the incident. A garda spokesman said the suspect is being held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. He can be held for 24 hours.

Onlookers said all the windows on the cement truck were covered in metal grids and had been smashed, with the doors of the cabin welded shut. It appeared some electric cables were cut before the driver escaped through a hatch on the roof.

Carol Treacy, owner of Petit Cafe opposite the Dail, said she saw a female garda calling for help.

"This guy just hopped out of the cab, locked it and just hopped on a ladder and got on top of the truck. There were police everywhere, but it was all very calm.

"They were just trying to get him down. He wasn`t shouting or being abusive or anything, he was just standing on top of the truck. The guards were telling him to get down."

Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd revealed that at least one garda on duty at the gates of the Dail had to jump out of the way of the truck.

"If it had been later in the morning, staff could have been killed, public could have been killed," said the opposition politician, who was first at the scene.

The incident was sparked by controversial plans by the Government to plough more than 20 million euro into State-owned Anglo Irish Bank.

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