Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan has stated that public order incidents need to be managed in a more thought-through way following the disorder that took place over the weekend in Dublin city centre.
Describing the incidents as “deeply regrettable”, the minister stated “What we don’t want is baton charges and what we don’t want is shields,”.
Ryan expressed sympathy for gardaí while acknowledging that they have a difficult job to do but said that event control teams should be put in place to work with gardaí and local businesses so that large gatherings can be managed properly.
The minister also said that the government needs to open up more spaces so that one area does not become “the concentration of where people are hanging out”.
Ryan stated that this is the type of event management that he’s in favour of so it removes the pressure from one single area being the main focus for gatherings.
Over the weekend, there were multiple arrests made with 19 of them taking place on Saturday night at South Anne’s Street where members of the Public Order Unit armed with shields were deployed to disperse a large group of approximately 200 people, who began throwing glass bottles at gardaí in response.
In regards to the actions taken by gardaí last night, Assistant Commissioner Ann Marie Cagney defended the approach of using shields, stating that they were necessary for the protection of gardaí.
With three gardaí sustaining injuries over the weekend, Cagney stated that she will not tolerate this as her job is to provide safety for the community and members of the force.