Four youths held over public order offences in Dublin city

DPP to consider charges over disturbances in Henry Street area on St Stephen’s Day

Christmas shoppers on Henry Street. Four youths were arrested in Dublin city centre following public order incidents last St Stephen’s Day. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Christmas shoppers on Henry Street. Four youths were arrested in Dublin city centre following public order incidents last St Stephen’s Day. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is to decide whether any charges are to be brought after four juveniles were arrested in Dublin city centre following public order incidents last St Stephen’s Day.

A Garda spokesman said the youths, three boys and a girl, were held in connection with public order offences in the Henry Street area and released a short time afterwards.

“No one had been injured and there was no evidence of any weapons involved,” the spokesman said.

A staff member at a shop on Henry Street told The Irish Times the incidents started at about 5pm.

He said it was tense at the beginning, but “they were only kids who ran up and down the street and made noise. We didn’t have to close.”

A security man at another shop on the street said “about 80 to 100 [people] teamed up and ran up and down the middle of Henry Street to where there was an unmarked Garda car.

“Then they ran back down to where there was a marked Garda car.”

He said that those involved were “a mixture of mainly black and some white guys.

“Elderly customers in the shop were afraid to go out. They hadn’t a clue what was going on.”

A security man at another shop on Henry Street said he was off on the day in question but had heard nothing about a riot in the area on St Stephen’s Day, “and the staff never mentioned anything”, he said.

However, a security man on Mary Street said that gangs clashed there regularly, “usually on Saturdays, but it’s not racist. It’s black on black.”

Dublin city centre traders’ association Dublin Town said they had not been contacted by anyone in connection with the incidents.

“We’ve had no complaints from members about that day,” a spokesman said.

However, he said he was aware that gangs of teenagers had clashed before in the Mary Street/Henry Street area of the city.

Criticism

Meanwhile, Séamus Dooley, the secretary of the Irish branch of the National Union of Journalists, has condemned some of the reporting on the St Stephen’s Day incidents as “extremely concerning”

He said he felt that some of it “was driven by a particular political agenda.

“It was provocative, as if designed to elicit racist responses, and at which it succeeded. ”

He said he himself lived in Dublin city centre and had not been aware of anything taking place in the area on St Stephen’s Day of the scale reported in some media.