Student march: timeline of events
The march began at Parnell Square. Gardaí have estimated the crowd at 15,000, whereas the Union of Students in Ireland put the figure at over 40,000.
A small group departed early from the march route along Nassau Street and went straight to the front gates of the Dáil on Kildare Street [MAP 4], where some protesters climbed poles and threw plastic bottles and cans over the front gate of Leinster House. Socialist Workers Party flags were visible within the group. The march organisers quickly pushed them on and reunited them with the main marching body.
A man not dressed in official student protest clothing with a megaphone urged the main group, gathering at Merrion Square, to come down to the Department of Finance building around the corner. A rush of people followed.
A group of about 40 entered the lobby of the building . Gardaí managed to remove close to half of these and were then forced to barricade in the remaining 20. A group of several hundred now gathered outside the building, with a line of gardaí at the entrance between them and the protesters trapped inside. There were numerous Socialist Workers Party and Éirígí flags in the crowd. A brick was thrown at the wall of the building, along with bottles, cans and signs at the gardaí.
A Garda horseback unit and three vans arrived outside the building, dividing the group outside in half. The protesters began a sit-down protest in front of the horseback unit.
Gardaí in full riot gear arrived and took up position between the other gardaí and protesters. The gardaí began removing protesters they had previously trapped in the lobby. There were physical altercations between them and a female garda was struck. Some of the protesters exited with evidence of a beating on their faces.
The last protester left inside was brought out. The riot squad pushed forward against the crowd and created some space around the entrance.
Slowly the protesters were moved back under continuing pressure. One garda on horseback was seen bleeding from the lip.
Riot police charged, followed by the unit on horseback, and pushed the entire crowd back to a spot adjacent to the Shelbourne Hotel . Several gardaí with dogs were also present.
There was another riot police charge along with the unit on horseback, which drove the protest back to a spot beside Anglo Irish Bank.
Gardaí then continued to move and disperse those who were left among the crowd.
The remnants of the crowd outside the Department of Finance building joined a sit-down protest outside the gates of Leinster House , bringing the total there to about 300 protesters.
Following the conclusion of the sit-down protest, which ended without incident, a member of the Free Education for Everyone organisation announced they would be marching to Pearse Street Garda station, where they believed several arrested protesters had been brought.
The group of less than 30 protesters arrived outside the Pearse Street Garda station, where eight gardaí waited at the entrance. The protesters stood outside and chanted slogans calling for the students’ release.