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WELL OVER A HUNDRED Gardaí were involved in responding to the lockdown demonstrations that afternoon in Dublin city center, and the force had prepared for the likelihood that events would turn violent.
According to sources identified officials had monitored the risk of violence at the event after monitoring online chatters for the past few weeks and had put in place a full police plan to deal with riots.
This included large numbers of gardaí from the public Order Unit, the Dog Unit and uniform, so-called Soft Cap Officers, to fill positions throughout the city center of Dublin.
There were also specialized gardaí in civilian clothes – from street crime departments in the city center and from national units working with the Monitoring subversive elements and groups that could pose a threat to the security of the state are mandated.
It will believed Senior Gardaí, including Commissioner Drew Harris, to take direct command of the operation from the city’s control room.
They channeled resources into the area and monitored events as they played out on Garda CCTV cameras.
Gardaí was informed in the morning and then took positions. The plan envisaged a graduated response: the visible police presence initially consisted of uniformed officers, who were replaced by public order units as the threat increased, but these officers were not wearing full riot gear.
The protest was for Stephens Green at 2 p.m. planned. However, around noon, Gardaí gave orders to close Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square parks and begin clearing the area.
The operation on Grafton Street was led by a superintendent from a local station in the city center. </ At around 2 p.m., protesters installed a public address system near the entrance to Stephen's Green Shopping Center and speeches were made. However, once they got over the atmosphere in the crowd, they became more hostile.
When officers formed a cordon to clear the top of Grafton Street, a group of three people in the crowd lit a fireworks display and kicked off in front of the crowd to start it on the line of public policy and uniform officials. Fireworks were also thrown at this stage of the protest.
Gardaí stepped forward to arrest the suspects with their batons drawn, causing a massive crowd to drive down Grafton Street to the South Anne Street intersection.
A « Calls for help » were issued to all municipal units and Gardaí from areas across Dublin flocked in to help their colleagues.
Sources said Gardaí was able to disperse people on Grafton Street again, and Eventually, some die-hard protesters made their way to O’Connell Street.
A number of people were handing out National Party leaflets in various locations around town this afternoon. These leaflets had slogans like « Let Ireland Live! » and “Support the National Party. Support an end to the bans ”.
On the back of the leaflet were other sentences about the lifting of the bans by“ Leinster House and Stormont ”.
Sources said Gardaí believe that today’s planned protest will not organized by one group rather than several.
The event followed an online campaign over the past few weeks calling for entrepreneurs to open non-essential retail and hospitality businesses that violate public health laws.
“The crowd consisted of many different, different groupings. Some anti-Vax people, some anti-lockdown people, some right wing and some left wing, there was also suspicion of republican subversive elements, « said a source.
» So it was with a number of these groups, from people who call themselves patriots to right-wing activists, but all of them have conspiratorial views against the government.
« Local Gardaí also said that a large majority of the participants were local youth who were just fighting with the To date, the intelligence picture has been compiled by the Garda intelligence departments – locally at the department headquarters and in the National Crime and Security Unit.
Sources said the information about the protest was from the start at serious and required the use of a large number of gardaí.
“The next phase will be to maintain identities for those involved. A photo has already been circulated of the man who started the fireworks, « said a source.
» Images are collected and disseminated through the garda internal portal and bulletins. Gardaí will be asked to provide identities and these will be fed into the system.
« There were more than 20 arrests in the incident, but you can be sure that there will be many more in the coming weeks. »
A statement from the Garda Press Office also confirmed that « different groups » were involved, saying that the initial focus of the operation was on preventing people from being rallied.
The statement said, that Gardaí was attacked from 1.30 p.m. and was attacked with « fireworks, rockets and spit ».
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23 people were arrested under the Public Order Act. Three Garda employees were injured in the incident. One had to be treated in hospital for his injuries – understood as a broken ankle.
“At the beginning of the police work there were about 125 members of An Garda Síochána, uniformed personnel, civilian clothes, public order units, Garda Mounted Unit and Garda Dog Unit involved. Additional resources from across the DMR region have been deployed in support throughout the operation, « said a spokesman.
Commissioner Harris added: » A Garda Síochána has so far arrested 23 people in connection with the unrest in Dublin city center. An extensive investigation is ongoing to find and bring those who have committed crimes today to justice. Gardaí has also taken notice of a number of people outside their home without a legitimate apology.
“This was a protest that is outside of the normal behavior of our society. These are not mainstream groups, the vast majority of our society adheres to the regulations and lives within those regulations in order to suppress COVID-19.
“A Garda Síochána has responded professionally today, resulting in a calm return to the Downtown has led. We will maintain an active presence in the city tonight to ensure that the city center remains safe and secure tonight. “
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Gardaí has been prepared for possible violence and drafted by specialists to help the police with today’s protest comments
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