Three arrests after anti-racism, free speech protests in Dublin
Arrests followed scuffles between two protest groups which were separated by gardaí
Three people were arrested during rival demonstrations by anti-racism and free speech groups in Dublin on Saturday.
The arrests followed minor scuffles between the two protest groups which were then separated by a large force of gardaí.
Two men and one woman were arrested. One of the males, a teenager, and the woman were questioned and then received an adult caution.
A second male in his forties has been charged with public order offences and is due to appear before court at a later date.
Several hundred people took part in the demonstrations outside Leinster House on Saturday afternoon.
One of the demonstrations was a protest against proposed new hate speech legislation and was organised by groups including the Irish Freedom Party and Yellow Vest Ireland.
Trades unions, faith groups and anti-racism organisations in turn organised a counter demonstration, the Solidarity Alliance against Racism and Fascism’s (SARF) rally.
Members of this group chanted: “Listen up and listen clear refugees are welcome here”.
A Department of Justice the consultation process on possible improvements to Ireland’s hate speech laws ended on Friday.
The Government has indicated it intends to strengthen and expand the scope of existing hate-speech legislation, as “one element in a wider suite of measures across all areas of government which are designed to address hatred and intolerance”.
Some forms of hate speech are already a criminal offence in Ireland under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989.
While severe sanctions are available under the existing law there have been a handful of convictions.