Ireland: Huge rise in checkpoints and gardaí to quell St Patrick's Day protest in Dublin amid concern over violent clashes


Irish Independent, 16 March 2021.

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

"GARDAÍ are planning to stop protesters coming into Dublin tomorrow in a bid to quell the latest anti-lockdown protest.

There will be a massive increase in Garda checkpoints in suburbs on roads into the northside and southside of Dublin. People will be asked for their reason for travelling – and face being turned back if they do not have an essential reason for going into the city centre.

They will be present at train stations as well as bus and Luas stops tomorrow morning as they mount a massive policing operation. Public transport will be monitored to ensure that people are complying with Covid-19 regulations and not making what are deemed to be non-essential journeys into the city centre.

Travelling to a protest is not deemed an essential journey.

Senior sources say that gardaí will also be “out in force” at train stations and bus stops across the country.


Three Dublin-based male chief superintendents have been placed in charge of operations on the day.

One will be in charge of the public order units, another will be directing Garda operations on the ground, while the third chief superintendent will be in command of the Garda Control Centre. The Special Detective Unit has been monitoring social media and encrypted messaging services in recent weeks. The unit will be observing if extreme elements of the left and right wing are at the proposed events and also carrying out surveillance on a number of “suspected agitators of violence”.

There will be three fully operational public order units in Dublin tomorrow – this means nine vans of riot police.

There are 22 officers on each unit – an inspector, three sergeants and 18 gardaí, meaning that a total of 66 public order gardaí will be on duty.

Sources say that these officers can be “quickly deployed” to the suburbs if public order issues arise there.

Since the violence at last month’s demonstrations in Dublin, there has been a number of high-level meetings involving senior gardaí preparing for protests tomorrow and on Saturday in the capital.


Disinformation analysts looking at social media and messaging platforms have said an event, being billed as a gathering for mental health, is to be held in Herbert Park. It has been advertised on social media platforms as Le Chéile Day with ‘families supporting families’.

A group called Yellow Vest Ireland, who say they are a grassroots movement against the disproportionate burden of the Government’s tax and policies, are also promoting the Le Chéile event, and has said that a protest will be held outside RTÉ in Donnybrook."

Source: Irish Independent, 16 March 2021

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error