2021 Dublin riots

A series of riots began in Dublin's south city centre on the night of 4 June 2021 over the June bank holiday weekend and during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which glass bottles and other objects were thrown at members of the Garda Síochána.[1] A number of public order incidents began when Gardaí attempted to disperse large organised groups congregating at a number of locations including South William Street, St Stephen's Green and Temple Bar Square.[2]

2021 Dublin riots
Date4 – 6 June 2021
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Caused byCOVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland
Methods
  • Rioting
  • Arson
  • Assault
Parties to the civil conflict
People of Dublin
Lead figures
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris
Casualties
Injuries3 Gardaí injured, 1 person assaulted
Arrested47

RiotsEdit

First nightEdit

On the evening of Friday 4 June 2021, large crowds were present in Dublin city centre with the vast majority of people socialising responsibly and enjoying outdoor activity.[3] A number of public order incidents occurred in the south city centre, primarily involving large organised groups congregating, drinking alcohol, singing and dancing at a number of locations including South William Street, St Stephen's Green and Temple Bar Square.[4]

The night saw clashes between the Garda Public Order Unit and people partying on the street at South William Street, in breach of COVID-19 restrictions, where violence broke out with glass bottles and other objects being thrown before a Garda baton charge dispersed the crowd.[5][6] Footage of the baton charge was widely shared on social media with some expressing criticism at the tactics used by Gardaí on the scene. The violent attacks resulted in 14 people, including nine adults and five juveniles, arrested for public order offences, a Garda member sustaining a leg injury and receiving hospital treatment, and a Garda patrol vehicle being damaged.[7][8][9]

AssaultsEdit

Videos shared online showed assaults on the streets of Dublin as groups of people were drinking. On Grafton Street, a man in his 40s required hospital treatment after suffering a slash to the head. In a separate incident, an employee at a local business was assaulted and left with facial injuries. Other videos showed incidents in Temple Bar and an assault in a train station.[10]

Second nightEdit

Throughout the afternoon and evening of Saturday 5 June, Gardaí maintained a visible presence in Dublin city centre.[11] A number of main streets were sealed off by Gardaí, crowds were cleared from South William Street, South Ann Street, Dawson Street, St Stephen's Green and Temple Bar, while Gardaí were armed with riot shields in a bid to disperse crowds that had begun gathering and prevent similar scenes to Friday night and restricted access to St Stephen's Green for people who carried alcohol.[12][13]

However, for a second consecutive night of public order incidents, violence erupted in Dublin's south city centre.[14] Gardaí again came under fire from glass bottles and other objects after around 200 youths gathered on South Anne Street at around 9pm. "Soft cap" public order units with shields were deployed, and dispersed crowds along the street, as well as Dawson Street. At around 10:15pm, more glass bottles were thrown in the Temple Bar area and the public order unit once again dispersed crowds.[15] The violent attacks resulted in 19 people, including two juveniles, arrested for public order offences, two Garda members injured, a bin set on fire, a passer-by assaulted, and a Garda patrol vehicle being damaged.[16][17][18][19]

Third nightEdit

An extensive, high visibility policing operation was put in place by uniformed officers supported by public order units on Sunday 6 June.[20]

14 people (including 3 juveniles) were arrested during a third consecutive night of public order incidents, as Gardaí dispersed crowds of youths "loitering" in the city centre.[21][22][23] The night was, however, quieter with most people socialising responsibly outdoors, and no Gardaí were injured.[24]

Response and reactionEdit

On 5 June, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly described the public order incidents in Dublin's south city centre as "thuggish behaviour and completely unacceptable". He said what happened in the South William Street area "was nothing short of a disgrace" and that "nobody has the right to attack our Garda".[25][26][27] The Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu described the anti-social behaviour in Dublin as "appalling", "obnoxious" and "depressing".[28]

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she had contacted the office of Garda Commissioner Drew Harris seeking to discuss her concerns around what she said was a lack of planning for large gatherings in Dublin, and said nobody wanted to see a repeat of the scenes witnessed on 4 June and that a plan was needed to avoid that. She said: "I'm looking to speak to Drew Harris because we need to know at this stage that there is a plan, we need to know what the plan is and we need very tight communication now with the Garda Síochána and Dublin City Council in particular."[29][30]

On 6 June, Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys defended the Garda response to the Dublin disorder by saying the vast majority of people were enjoying themselves responsibly outdoors and "we cannot let the actions of a tiny minority intent on causing trouble overshadow that", and warned: "We have made so much progress in tackling the virus and we must not put the further re-opening of our society and economy at risk."[31] The Green Party leader Eamon Ryan condemned the public order incidents and called for policing in Dublin to be managed "in a much more thought through manner".[32][33][34]

The Garda Síochána said they would not tolerate anti-social behaviour in Dublin city following the two consecutive nights of public order incidents.[16] Assistant Commissioner Ann Marie Cagney defended the police approach taken stating that it was necessary for Gardaí to have shields for their protection.[35]

On 7 June, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the President of the Garda Representative Association Frank Thornton claimed that the vast majority of people in Dublin over the weekend complied with COVID-19 restrictions and it was only "a minority grouping that seemed hell bent on just creating havoc", and said there were only "a small number of occasions" when Gardaí were met with hostility.[36]

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said an element of young, drunk people were responsible for causing violent disturbances in Dublin, and singled out the selling of takeaway alcohol from licensed premises which, he said, led to people drinking in public places, resulting in attacks on Gardaí, criminal damage, and public disorder. Harris rejected criticism that the Garda response may had been over-reactionary, and said Gardaí were simply doing their job by responding to the violent events.[37][38]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ McCurry, Cate (5 June 2021). "14 arrested after crowds gather in Dublin city centre". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  2. ^ Dunne, Alex (5 June 2021). "South William Street night of chaos as 14 people arrested and officer rushed to hospital after clashes across city centre". Dublin Live. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Friday street gatherings see multiple arrests and missiles thrown at gardaí". WLR FM. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  4. ^ Porzio, Stephen (5 June 2021). "14 arrested in Dublin city after glass bottles thrown at Gardaí". JOE.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  5. ^ Beresford, Jack (5 June 2021). "Chaos in Dublin as 14 people arrested and Garda officer hospitalised during night of violent clashes". Irish Post. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  6. ^ Mahoney, Donny (5 June 2021). "Fourteen People Arrested In Dublin As Gardaí 'Disperse' South William Street Crowds". Balls.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  7. ^ Ní Aodha, Gráinne (4 June 2021). "Several people arrested amid public order incidents in Dublin city". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Friday street gatherings see multiple arrests and missiles thrown at gardaí". BreakingNews.ie. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  9. ^ Scott Byrne, Ruairi (5 June 2021). "Garda hospitalised as 14 people arrested amid public order incidents in Dublin city centre". Buzz.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  10. ^ Lyne, Laura (4 June 2021). "South William Street jam packed scenes as missiles thrown at garda public order unit and arrests made". Dublin Live. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  11. ^ O'Connor, Niall (5 June 2021). "Gardaí maintain visible presence in Dublin city centre after public order incidents". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  12. ^ Brummell, Conor (5 June 2021). "Heavy Garda presence in Dublin as streets closed off to curtail crowds". Buzz.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  13. ^ McGlynn, Michelle; Brennan, Cianan; Michael, Neil; Neville, Steve (5 June 2021). "Gardaí in riot gear clear crowds in Dublin after coming under fire from glass bottles". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Gardaí attacked for second night in Dublin". BBC News. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  15. ^ Libreri, Samantha; O'Brien, Fergal; Regan, Mary (6 June 2021). "Glass bottles thrown at gardaí as Dublin crowds dispersed". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  16. ^ a b Libreri, Samantha (6 June 2021). "Gardaí defend policing of Dublin public order incidents". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Dublin disorder: Nineteen arrested after crowds clash with police for second night". Sky News. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  18. ^ O'Connor, Niall (6 June 2021). "19 people arrested for public order offences in Dublin city centre during significant garda operation last night". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  19. ^ Roberts, Sam (6 June 2021). "Gardai injured in 'glass bottle attacks', horror assault and 19 arrested in Dublin night of chaos". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Gardaí arrest 14 over public order incidents in Dublin city on Sunday". The Irish Times. 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  21. ^ Kelly, Clara (7 June 2021). "14 arrested as Gardaí disperse crowds of youths "loitering" in Dublin City Centre". JOE.ie. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  22. ^ Boland, Lauren (7 June 2021). "14 people arrested in Dublin yesterday; no garda injuries reported". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  23. ^ Roberts, Sam (7 June 2021). "Gardai remove huge crowds from Dublin city centre for third night as 14 people arrested". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  24. ^ O'Brien, Mark (7 June 2021). "Gardai make 14 arrests after large crowds gather in Dublin city centre for third night in a row". Dublin Live. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  25. ^ "Donnelly criticises 'thuggish behaviour' in Dublin city after 14 people arrested". The Irish Times. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  26. ^ Moloney, Eoghan (5 June 2021). "Health Minister hits out at 'thuggish behaviour' as 14 arrested for public order offences in Dublin". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  27. ^ Porzio, Stephen (5 June 2021). "Minister Stephen Donnelly hits out against "thuggish behaviour" after 14 arrested in Dublin city". JOE.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  28. ^ Horan, Niamh; Moloney, Eoghan (5 June 2021). "'Appalling and depressing' – Lord Mayor Hazel Chu condemns Dublin scenes as 14 people arrested". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Donnelly criticises 'thuggish behaviour' aimed at gardaí in Dublin". BreakingNews.ie. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  30. ^ Fetherstonhaugh, Neil (5 June 2021). "Mary Lou McDonald says outdoor summer 'cannot mean baton charges on our streets'". Sunday World. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  31. ^ O'Riordan, Ellen; Pollak, Sorcha; McQuinn, Cormac (6 June 2021). "Humphreys defends policing of Dublin public order incidents". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  32. ^ Hand, John (6 June 2021). "Minister Eamon Ryan says Dublin city centre needs to be policed in 'more thought-through manner'". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  33. ^ Hennessy, Michelle (6 June 2021). "Eamon Ryan says public order incidents need to be managed in 'more thought-through manner'". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  34. ^ "New approach needed for public disorder - Ryan". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  35. ^ "Garda use of shields and batons defended amid Dublin street unrest". BreakingNews.ie. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  36. ^ "Minority of people 'hell bent' on creating havoc, GRA claim". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  37. ^ Raleigh, David (7 June 2021). "'Young, drunk people' to blame for Dublin violence, says Garda boss". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  38. ^ Raleigh, David (7 June 2021). "Garda Commissioner says 'young drunk' people responsible for violence in Dublin city". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 7 June 2021.