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21 arrested at anti-lockdown protests for breaches of Covid-19 regulations

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Twenty-one people have been arrested at anti-lockdown protests in Dublin for failing to comply with public health guidelines, gardai said.

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

By Wednesday evening, a Garda spokeperson said 21 people had been arrested, including 17 men and four women across different events in Dublin.

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

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. They were told by gardai that they were in breach of Covid-19 health regulations.

Coronavirus – Wed Mar 17, 2021 / PA Wire

Many of the demonstrators voiced their disappointment at the turnout.

Several protest events were planned via social media, by disparate groups in different locations in Dublin city centre.

By late afternoon a number of protesters had gathered at certain sites across the city but the crowds were not as large as had been anticipated on social media.

More than 2,500 gardai were deployed at checkpoints and arterial routes across the country.

Much of the focus was on the capital amid fears that anti-lockdown activists would seek to use the public holiday to demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions.

Coronavirus – Wed Mar 17, 2021 / PA Wire

There were ugly scenes close to Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green last month, when gardai were attacked with fireworks during disturbances at a lockdown protest.

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