Tens of thousands march in Dublin calling for ‘freedom and justice for Palestine’

Singer Christy Moore performed a song written by American singer Jim Page called Palestine, before meeting the families of Stardust victims

Tens of thousands of people marched through Dublin city centre on Saturday afternoon calling for “freedom and justice for Palestine” .

It was the fifth major pro-Palestinian demonstration calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas war, with organisers estimating more than 60,000 in attendance. Gardaí have yet to provide an estimated figure on the attendance.

Protesters draped in Palestinian flags arrived in droves at the Garden of Remembrance before marching to Leinster House.

The demonstration was organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) and was backed by more than 120 organisations, according to the IPSC.


Amid a heavy garda presence, Palestinian flags attached to buggies billowed in the wind with a large banner headed by several women reading: “Mothers against genocide”.

As the protest approached D’Olier Street, a steward asked 77-year-old Brian Molloy on O’Connell Bridge if he needed assistance crossing the road.

He replied: “No, I’m going to join them now.”

Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Molloy who was on his way to an appointment said:

“I’m very concerned about the people in Gaza, I’m concerned about all those who have lost their lives. I believe that it’s genocide,” he said.

Traffic was brought to a standstill as demonstrators marched down O’Connell Street, through College Green and up Dawson Street.

At a rally outside the Dáil which filled the length of Molesworth Street, Tamar Nijim, a Palestinian student from Gaza, told how her inner child has been “killed”.

“Every day feels like a century in the Gaza Strip for all of us,” she said adding: “This war has made me lose faith in all international laws and human rights.”

The 25-year-old University of Limerick student said her family home was bombed, with her family spending two months in a tent, “living in very hard conditions”.

“I had to witness my family two times on a video call being bombed without being able to do anything,” she said.

MEP Clare Daly told the crowds that “European complicity will never be forgotten”.

IPSC Chairperson Zoe Lawlor told the crowd that the campaign’s energy is growing and “not going anywhere”.

“Our solidarity with the Palestinian people is unbreakable,” she said.

Ms Lawlor demanded “meaningful action” from the Irish Government to sanction Israel, including enacting the Occupied Territories Bill, the Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill, as well as a cease in all trading with Israel.

Following this week’s Stardust inquest verdict of unlawful killing, she said the road to justice in Ireland is long.

“It is hard fought but when you don’t give up, you win,” she said before paying tribute to the victims and their families, some of whom were present at the rally.

Shortly before the rally ended, singer Christy Moore performed a song written by American singer Jim Page called Palestine, before meeting the families of Stardust victims.

Meanwhile in Cork, singer Senator Frances Black criticised “expressions of concern without worthwhile actions” and called on the Irish government to “take meaningful action to stand up for the principles of global solidarity, human rights, and international law.”

Senator Black, who introduced the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill into the Oireachtas in 2018, was highly critical of the Irish government for stalling on enacting the legislation which although passed in 2019, it has not been sent for approval to the president.

She told over 1,000 people attending the 27th consecutive weekly rally organised by the Cork Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Cork city centre that the bill seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.

Earlier Cork lawyer Dr Susan Power said what people are witnessing in Gaza was “the erasure of the Palestinian people, a continuing Nabka”, explaining that Nabka in Arabic means ‘catastrophe” and is how Palestinians describe the bloody period surrounding the declaration of the Israeli state in 1948.

“What is happening in Gaza now is the end point of a century-long settler colonial project,” said Dr Power who is Head of Legal Research and Advocacy at Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental human-rights organisation based in the West Bank.

Jack White

Jack White

Jack White is a reporter for The Irish Times

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times