Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested after chaining themselves to Dáil
Protesters paste exterior wall of Government department with excerpts from scientific papers
Gardaí at the scene of the Extinction Rebellion protest at the Dáil on Thursday night. Photograph: Twitter/@ExtinctRebelsIE
Gardaí arrested four men and a woman who had chained themselves to the railings outside Dáil Éireann as part of the Extinction Rebellion Ireland (XRI) campaign.
The five were arrested for public order offences and were taken to Pearse Street Garda station. They were later released without charge.
The protesters had blocked the gate at Leinster House on Thursday night preventing people from exiting it for a time.
On Friday, a crowd of around 150 protestors marched from the XRI camp in Merrion Square to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on Adelaide Road. The protestors then pasted excerpts from scientific papers about the impact of burning methane gas to the exterior wall of the department, and obstructed of the main entrances to the building.
There was no Garda presence at the protest, which was organised to object to the Government’s decision to put the Shannon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal forward for inclusion on a special European list called Projects of Common Interest (PCI). The protestors are concerning that the terminal, in the Shannon estuary, would be used to import gas fracked in the United States.
One organiser, Aisling Wheeler, said Minister for Climate Change Richard Bruton was promoting the terminal’s inclusion on the PCI list “despite having no mandate from the parliament”.
“If it gets on that list, it can completely bypass planning. It has priority access to the grid, and if that happens, that means renewable don’t”, she said.
XRI members returned to the department later to clean up after the protest.
Footage of the Leinster House incident, which took place around midnight on Thursday, was posted on the climate action group’s Twitter feed.
It showed gardaí removing protesters from the railings as the movement’s protesters sing: “The people united will never be defeated”.
The Twitter feed went on to recount that gardaí had difficulty removing the locks that the protesters used to chain themselves to the railings.
The campaign posted footage of the intervention by gardaí. “Gardaí cutting teams are removing the @ExtinctRebelsIE lock on at the Dáil. Rebels being put in police vans.”
On its Twitter page, the group posted an update on Friday morning: “Five brave XR rebels were arrested last night after chaining themselves to the gates of Leinster House.
“They did this because scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown. The time for denial is over. It is time to act.”