Hundreds protest outside Temple Bar pub for second time over alleged assault

Teenagers and young adult demonstrators chanted for apology and banged skateboards

Dublin skateboarders have staged their second protest outside the Temple Bar pub this week, following a recent incident outside the bar in which two teenagers were allegedly assaulted. Video: Bryan O’Brien

 

Close to 200 teenagers and young adults gathered outside one of Temple Bar’s most popular pubs for a second protest on Saturday following an alleged assault on two teenagers earlier this week.

The protesters, most of whom were carrying skateboards which they banged on the cobblestones while chanting “come out and say sorry”, booed patrons who entered the Temple Bar pub on the corner of Temple Lane South.

On Monday, footage appeared on the Temple Bar live webcam appearing to show two teenagers, aged 13 and 16, involved in an altercation with security guards outside the Temple Bar pub. The incident is now being investigated by gardaí.

Another protest had taken place on Thursday night.

On Saturday evening, a small number of gardaí stood on the edges of the crowd, which continued to chant, whistle and clap for up to an hour along the main strip of Temple Bar.

Evan Fogarty, who organised the protests on Thursday and Saturday, told The Irish Times: “We’re all still a bit shook after the whole thing.

“We just want them to come out and apologise, to explain themselves.

“Skateboarders have gone through enough. They’re not into sports so they take up skating to take their minds off mental health issues, to control their negative energy.

“But public spaces are not appreciated in this country. They put stoppers at the bottom of ledges to stop us from skateboarding. They build skateparks that have no lights or roofs.”

Addressing the crowd

Mr Fogarty also addressed the crowd in Temple Bar and led chants for the pub owner to apologise.

“These kids don’t cause any trouble,” he shouted. “All they want to do is get something positive to do. We get no light shed on skateboarding in this country, that’s why we’re standing here. None of us are scumbags.”

“We’re just a movement of kids,” he added.

When asked whether the Temple Bar pub manager could comment on the protest, a security guard at the door said the response was “no comment”.

Imogen “Mo” Nicholson said she was heartened by the turnout at both protests and hoped the public was paying attention to their demands.

“It’s honestly so lovely seeing everyone here. We’re telling them yeah, you’re older than us, you’re adults, but we’re telling you this is not right and we’re gonna call you out on it.”

The 16-year-old from Lucan said she was lucky to have access to an enclosed skatepark in her local area but that most skaters in the capital have to practice on the streets. The lack of amenities for skaters in Dublin is “atrocious”, she added. “I know lads who would rather skate than anything else but they end up turning to drugs because they want that serotonin they get when they skate but there’s nowhere to do it in their area.”