Man and woman charged after Government building covered in red graffiti

Extinction Rebellion group claims responsibility for ‘non-violent direct action’ in video

Contractors clean paint from the Department of Foreign Affairs at Iveagh House on St Stephens Green, Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Contractors clean paint from the Department of Foreign Affairs at Iveagh House on St Stephens Green, Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

 

A man in his 20s and a woman in her late teens have been charged and will appear in court on Saturday morning in connection with “an incident of criminal damaged”, where the entrance to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ headquarters at Iveagh House was covered in graffiti.

Contractors were called to the department’s offices in central Dublin on Friday afternoon, after red graffiti brandishing the statement “no more empty promises” was painted across the building’s front facade.

The pair were arrested on Friday and detained under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Kevin Street Garda station. They will appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice at 10.30am on Saturday.

The Extinction Rebellion Cork group claimed responsibility for the act in a live-stream video posted on Facebook, which shows a woman spray-painting the building.

A young man, who also features at the start of the video in Stephen’s Green and films the incident, tells viewers “this is a non-violent direct action” and that “previous actions such as lobbying TDs, emails and protests have failed”.

“We’ve had enough and we need to step up the game,” he says.

“We’re fed up of Government making climate targets and doing nothing about it. We’ve had words and words and words for more than 40 years. Enough is enough.”

The 10-minute video shows the young woman spray-painting and throwing buckets of paint at the building before being approached by two men who tell her to stop. The woman also pasted posters to the front columns of the building with the message “no more empty promises”.

Gardaí confirmed a man in his early 20s and a woman in her late teens had been arrested for “an act of criminal damage” on St Stephen’s Green at 1.15pm on Friday, March 19th and would appear in court on Saturday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment on the incident.