A STREET performer has been arrested in Cork ahead of a major demonstration by those opposed to the Irish government’s Covid-19 restrictions.
Gardaí have been on standby across Cork ahead of the planned protest.
Footage emerged online of a handful of Garda officers wrestling a man to the ground before handcuffing him bundling him into a nearby van. A shout of “stop resisting” is audible in the video.
A petrol can could be seen close to where the man is being restrained, with one of the Garda on the scene going on to retrieve it
There was initially speculation that the arrest was linked to the protests planned in Cork today.
However, Gardai have since confirmed that the man was a street performer in breach of COVID-19 regulations.
The video was shared on Twitter by the user Max Power, who wrote: “If the cops don’t have enough to deal with on a normal day, they now have this fool with a petrol can in the middle of Cork.”
— Max Power (@Max_Power__123) March 6, 2021
The arrest comes amid concerns that the demonstrations planned in Cork could descend into the same violent scenes witnessed in Dublin last weekend.
Four Garda were injured, with one hospitalised, during those protests, with 23 people arrested on the day and one man later charged for aiming a firework at Irish police.
One of the organisers of the Cork protest, secretary of The People's Convention Diarmuid Ó Cadhla, previously insisted the demonstrations would go ahead without any of the violence seen last week.
“We have utterly condemned any violent protest and we have ourselves taken measures to try and eliminate any such thing emerging in Cork,” he said.
“We are liaising with the gardaí on that level, so we expect a fully peaceful assembly.”