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February 25, 2006

Dublin Riots Stories, Pictures and Video

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 02/25/06 O'Connell Street Reopens After Riot Clean Up
IT 02/25/06 Taoiseach Leads Condemnation Of Dublin Riot
IT 02/25/06 'I Can't Go And Leave My Soldiers Alone'
IT 02/25/06 Ugly Scenes In Dublin As Gardai Face Down Rioters
RT 02/25/06 Dublin Court Sits In Connection With Riots

(Poster’s Note: See more Pictures of Dublin today

See videos of riot on RTE Six One News at: Jay)


O'Connell Street Reopens After Riot Clean Up

25/02/2006 - 18:22:47

O'Connell Street is re-opening following today's riots
which brought the city to a standstill.

The clean-up is underway with estimates about the damage
running into hundreds of thousands of euro.

Charlie Lowe, Dublin City Council Area Manager said: "The
area was quite well populated at around 5 o’clock", when
all the rioters had dispersed.

"Generally, the fact that people are back on the street
with the Garda co-operation indicates that everything is
more-or-less returning to normal."


Taoiseach Leads Condemnation Of Dublin Riot

By Elaine Edwards Last updated: 25-02-06, 17:16

Youths hold up a sign at Parnell Square today

The Taoiseach condemned today's violent scenes in Dublin
city centre, saying those who "wantonly attack gardaí and
property have no respect for their fellow citizens".

"There is absolutely no excuse for the disgraceful scenes
in Dublin today. It is the essence of Irish democracy and
republicanism that people are allowed express their views
freely and in a peaceful manner," he said.

Mr Ahern praised "the bravery of the gardaí in dealing with
a very tense situation and sympathy for those who have been
injured doing their duty".

Speaking after a short meeting with a unionist delegation
led by Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP and Ulster Unionist
Party MLA Danny Kennedy, the Minister for Justice Michael
McDowell said: " I wish to condemn in the strongest
possible terms acts of thuggery, brutality, cowardice and
inhumanity which have been unleashed on the people of
Dublin this afternoon at the hands of an organised mob who
came to Dublin with the intention of deliberately creating
mayhem in a peaceful and prosperous city.

"I want to commend An Garda Síochána for, yet again,
standing in the breach against acts of thuggery and
political terror. In particular I want to express my shock
and anger that members of An Garda Síochána have been
injured by people who were carrying and defiling our
national flag.

Mr McDowell said the "cowardly actions of a small, wholly
unrepresentative number of people will not deter the
Government in our pursuit of peace, reconciliation and
inclusive democratic politics in Northern Ireland"

The Minister said he had expressed his regret to the
unionist delegation "that their right under the
Constitution to assemble peacefully was denied them".

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said the actions the
rioters were "entirely wrong and reprehensible".

"There is no justification for what happened this afternoon
in Dublin. Sinn Féin had appealed to people to ignore this
loyalist parade and not to be provoked by it. Our view was
that it should not be opposed in any way and we made that

"Regrettably a small, unrepresentative group, chose to
ignore our appeal."

The Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte said the scenes had
"brought shame on the capital city".

"Whatever one's opinion of the Orange Order, it was hoped
that this legal parade would have passed off without
incident. Instead, an unrepresentative minority resorted to
thuggery by attacking the gardai and members of the media
who were there to cover the parade," he said.

"I wholeheartedly condemn these attacks and hope that those
responsible will be brought to justice. Given the publicity
that surrounded the march, I am surprised that the gardai
seemed ill-prepared to deal with the violence that erupted.

"The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, must seek an
immediate report from Garda authorities about their
preparations for today's march and the level of protests
they anticipated."

The vice president of Republican Sinn Féin, Des Dalton,
said the scenes witnessed in Dublin "only serve to
illustrate how out of touch the 26-County political
establishment was with the depth of opposition to the
routing of a loyalist march through Dublin".

"Indeed 26-County Justice Minister Michael McDowell's
willingness to meet with the organisers of this march while
at the same time refusing to meet with the relatives of
those killed in the British-directed loyalist Dublin and
Monaghan bombs or the relatives of the Stardust tragedy,
only serves to further highlight the gulf that exists
between the 26-County political establishment and the views
of ordinary Irish people," he said.

Mr Dalton said the routing of such a march through Dublin
was "a completely irresponsible act with scant thought
given to the consequences or the dangers it posed to

The SDLP's justice spokesman Alban Maginness said it was
"disturbing that marchers have been prevented from peaceful

"This action of extreme republicans simply plays into hands
of those of unionist right who cannot conceive unionist
rights being upheld in a New Ireland."

© 2006


'I Can't Go And Leave My Soldiers Alone'

Last updated: 25-02-06, 17:05

There were concerns about the culture clash between
Northern Unionists and Republicans from the South. But
Conor Pope today witnessed clashes of an entirely different

A great cheer goes up as the beautifully maintained Vespa
scooter parked on O'Connell St is kicked onto its side and
torched by three teenagers wearing hoodies and scarves.

Other similarly clad youths, after being momentarily
distracted by the conflagration, return to the matter at
hand - trashing bicycles and breaking breeze blocks into
pieces in the search for missiles to throw at gardai.

One rioter finds a wheelbarrow on that part of the street
which remains a building site and runs towards the line of
police. When just two feet away he hurls it at a garda's
head who, well protected by his shield, hardly reacts.
Another cheer rises from the crowd.

Amidst the violent scenes two women and one man carrying a
painting of the Virgin Mary head fearfully in the direction
of the police line. The route they are following along
O'Connell St is part of a weekly pilgrimage they take
through the city centre.

"Walk behind me. " says one of the ladies to the man. "Once
they see what we are at they will let us through," she says
nodding in the direction of riot squad. She is very wrong.
There is absolutely no chance they will be allowed cross
the line and they take a diversion up Sackville Place.

They pass a man with blood streaming down his face. His
friend suggests he seeks medical attention. "I can't go and
leave my soldiers alone," he says without a trace of irony.
The "soldiers" meanwhile continue to throw cider bottles at

"We don't want them walking down our main street," one of
the protesters says referring to the Love Ulster parade.
"We have been forced to do this. They are not wanted here.
We don't want to be fighting on O'Connell St, we don't want
to wreck our city. We don't want to be fighting the guards.
But we don't want these people walking down our street.
They have blood on their hands."

Another protester, with blood on his head, agrees. "I'm
here for Ireland," he says, slightly incoherently. He tries
to lay the blame for the riot squarely at the door of the
gardai. Suddenly a missile thrown at random by one of his
compadres lands in our midst weakening his case

Another, more sober protester calls the whole scene a
disgrace. "It is a disgrace that it is happening on
O'Connell St. It is a disgrace the Fianna Fail allowed it
to happen. I would gouge my eye out with a spoon before I
ever vote for Fianna Fail again he says. "If the people who
founded this country in that building," he says gesturing
towards the GPO, "could see this they would be turning in
their graves." He is not talking about the riot but the
aborted parade.

The serious violence moves suddenly, as if by osmosis,
towards Nassau St, just yards from the scene where one of
the bombs planted by loyalists went off in Dublin in 1974.
Two cars are on fire, torched by rioters angry at having
their path to Kildare St and Dail Eireann - where unionists
are rumoured to have gathered - blocked by riot police and
gardai on horseback.

The mood here is more tense and more ugly than it was on
O'Connell St, with the narrow street lending the atmosphere
a more claustrophobic air. The cars are allowed burn
unattended and look to be a danger to nearby buildings. The
gardai are forced to take action and start moving the line
back. There is blind panic as the rioters, tourists and
passers-by accidentally caught up in the violence turn and
run towards Grafton St.

At the top of the city's main shopping street, tourists
quiz gardai as to what is going on and ask for directions.
One Welsh couple, over for tomorrow's rugby match, ask a
garda sergeant how to get to O'Connell St. Ruefully he
shakes his head and tells them, "you'd be as well off
avoiding the city centre for now". Nearby, on Suffolk St,
group of school children start to cry when they see the
crowd running in their direction. For a moment the
situation looks like spiralling even further out of

A fresh line of gardai - without riot gear - arrive on the
scene. They look distinctly vulnerable but the rioters look
intimidated and slowly dissipate. The school children stop
crying and the majority of shoppers seeing the line of
guards, turn and head in the direction of St Stephen's

It's not so calm on O'Connell Bridge, Westmoreland St and
Aston Quay where the missiles continue to rain down on
gardai. Scores of bottles are thrown as the riot police try
to move the protesters away from the city centre towards
the Ha'Penny Bridge.

Shoppers seek refuge in the narrow and unfamiliar streets
off the quays. A golf ball, aimed at the garda line veers
off course and strikes the wall of a narrow lane just off
Aston Quay. It ricochets around like a pinball before
striking a bemused Spanish tourist on the leg. Although
unhurt she is still shaken by being unexpectedly caught up
in a riot on a sunny spring morning in Dublin. "Que pasa?"
she asks as she picks up the ball.

A lot of Dubliners were left asking the same question.

© 2006


Ugly Scenes In Dublin As Gardai Face Down Rioters

By Elaine Edwards Last updated: 25-02-06, 16:37

Gardai in riot gear outside the GPO during today's riots.
Pic: Carl O'Malley

O'Connell Street in Dublin, site of the beginning of the
Easter Rising 90 years ago this year, witnessed violent
scenes of a different sort today as youths throwing
missiles and chanting pro-IRA slogans faced lines of gardaí
in riot gear outside the GPO, writes Elaine Edwards

Several hundred people gathered this morning at Upper
O'Connell Street and the south side of Parnell Square to
protest against a planned march through the city by
unionist groups under the banner of FAIR (Families Acting
for Innocent Relatives).

From around noon, it was evident the planned parade, which
was to include loyalist bands, would not pass off
peacefully. The atmosphere was tense and very ugly. Men
roared abuse up Parnell Square, where the unionist would-be
marchers were gathered out of sight. The sound of marching
band drums could be heard from around the corner though.

"Remember Bloody Sunday", read one huge handwritten banner
held aloft by four youths wearing scarves around their

There was a heavy presence of mainly youths and men
claiming republican ties. Some of those gathered carried
printed placards bearing the names of people who died just
a short distance away in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings
more than 30 years ago.

Some of the young men wore tricolours around their
shoulders and scarves around their faces to mask their
identities. One, face covered, raised two middle fingers to
an reporter who took a picture of him.

"Love Ulster - All 9 Counties", one handwritten placard
read. Another said: "Hundreds of nationalists killed by
loyalist death squads in collusion with the British state."

An reporter asked a garda for permission to
access the north side of Parnell Square in order to speak
to the unionist marchers, but was told to move on.

Ironically, the first of the protesters to whom
spoke, was a New Yorker studying in Dublin. He said he had
come because he was "opposed to sectarian causes". "I think
it's ridiculous that they can march through here after
everything that's gone on in Northern Ireland and Ireland
in general. How terrorists can march through Ireland's
capital," said Tim Putzke.

"I'm here to demonstrate, to show my solidarity with the
rest of the Republican people," said Denis Murphy, who
identified himself as "a member of the IRSP - the Irish
Republican Socialist Party".

Asked whether he thought many people in Dublin were
bothered by the proposed Love Ulster march, he said those
who weren't were "the non-thinking people".

Mr Murphy said he had relatives who had been injured in the
Troubles. "And we never got an interview with The Irish
Times, ever," he said.

Another man with a strong Dublin accent, wearing a
tricolour, said the proposed unionist march was "a bloody
disgrace". "Do you think we would be allowed march up in
Portadown? Civil rights? It's a bleedin' disgrace. I'm
going mad standing here. The people of the Six Counties are
getting walked on for years."

As he spoke to, whistles were blown and an
ominous roar went up in the crowd. The man ran off shouting
"this is it, let's go lads". "Up the Continuity IRA,"
someone shouted.

From then, the scenes became uglier. Men threw missiles,
including glasses and bottles, at gardai. The small number
of gardai in riot gear attempting to corral what was
initially a small group of rioters at the Parnell Street
corner of Upper O'Connell Street, was quickly supplemented
with reinforcements.

Before long, the capital's main street was in chaos. Much
of the upper end of the street had been, in any case, a
building site, as improvement works have been ongoing.
Skips full of the usual building site debris, including
pieces of wood and plastic piping, provided ready-made
missiles for the rioters.

Steel fencing and crush barriers were trampled to the
ground as the riot moved down O'Connell Street in a slow
wave, pushed forward by the gardai in riot gear. Dozens of
uniformed gardai remained behind their colleagues and some
made arrests, handcuffing youths before leading them off to
Garda vans.

Bottles and pieces of what appeared to be broken street
tiling were thrown at gardai and over the lines of riot
shields, causing bystanders, journalists and photographers
to run for cover.

The riot squad lined up along side streets, including
Cathal Brugha Street, Henry Street and Princes Street, next
to the GPO. It appeared in some cases this was to prevent
the rioters moving down those streets, but also to keep
members of the public attempting to go about their normal
Saturday business out of the violence.

"We haven't done anything. Why are you here?" one elderly
woman protested to a line of riot shields across Princes
Street. "It's for your own protection," the garda

One garda indicated he believed extra gardai were being
drafted in from Louth and Meath to cut the rioters off at
the bottom of O'Connell Street. However, the rampaging
crowd reached the bridge and began to disperse, up
Westmoreland Street and to the south side of the city,
towards Kildare Street and Leinster House, where a unionist
delegation had been due to meet Minister for Justice
Michael McDowell.

Gardai in riot gear remained in a line across O'Connell
Street at the junction of Abbey Street and the scene became
confused. The street is strewn with debris. Shops and
businesses in the capital's main street were nearly all
shuttered for what is traditionally their busiest time of
the week.

© 2006


Dublin Court Sits In Connection With Riots

25 February 2006 19:21

At least 12 of the 40 people arrested in connection with today's riots
in Dublin's city centre have appeared before a special sitting of Dublin
District Court.

They have been charged with various offences relating to the violence.

Four people, including two men and two women, have been charged with
smashing the windows of a store on O'Connell Street and looting the

Several others have been charged with public order offences, including
throwing bricks and glass bottles at gardaí.

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