Pro-Palestine activists protest Irish politicians’ White House attendance for St Patrick’s ceremony

Demonstration staged ahead of event in Washington DC on Sunday when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to present US president Joe Biden with a bowl of shamrock

Pro-Palestinian campaigners have held aloft black shamrocks in Dublin as they protested against Irish politicians due to take part in a traditional St Patrick’s Day ceremony in the White House.

The demonstration saw activists line both banks of the River Liffey at the landmark Ha’penny Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

The protest was staged ahead of the St Patrick’s event in Washington DC on Sunday, when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will present US president Joe Biden with a bowl of shamrock to celebrate the Irish patron saint.

Senior politicians from both sides of the Border will be at the annual event in the White House.


Activists denounced their planned attendance at the White House during the vocal and colourful Dublin protest.

They insisted the politicians should be boycotting the ceremony due to the US’s continued support of Israel amid its ongoing bombardment of Gaza.

As well as displaying black shamrocks, campaigners waved Irish and Palestinian flags and chanted slogans supportive of Palestine and critical of the US administration.

Other demonstrators boarded boats that moved up and down the Liffey during the protest, organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).

IPSC chairwoman Zoe Lawlor said: “The black shamrock is our symbol of resistance and declaration that Ireland stands with Palestine – that we support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

“We have been consistently demanding that no Irish politician should be meeting or sharing shamrocks with the Biden administration while the Palestinians in Gaza are being slaughtered with US weapons and funding.”

Aine Hayden from the IPSC handed leaflets to passing members of the public during the visual demonstration.

“I’m here because my heart is completely shattered and broken looking at this genocide that’s been taking place for nearly six months now,” she said.

“For the 13,000 children who’ve been blown to pieces and the many more thousands that are still under the rubble yet to be found; for the two children every day who lose a limb; every day two children lose one or both legs... for the 25,000 orphans who are left with no family and the fact that they’re [the Israeli military are] targeting ambulances, hospitals, they’re targeting the Unrwa (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) food aid centres. They took out the last one the other day.

“They’re targeting starving people who are queuing, waiting for a bag of flour, and they’re shooting and bombing them.

“We’ve never seen the like of this outrage, this is barbarity, and it needs to stop. We need a permanent ceasefire now.” – PA