THOUSANDS GATHERED in Cork city centre of an anti-lockdown protest that passed without incident
Gardai were out in force for the event, a week on from the violent scenes witnessed at a similar demonstration held in Dublin where four officers were injured and 23 protesters were arrested.
Several stores across the city boarded up windows in preparation for the event, while Gardai checkpoints were in operation along several routes into Cork. According to protest's organisers, the People’s Convention, some who had been planning to attend the event were turned away by Garda.
Red FM has reporter there were six arrests in relation to the rally including two for breaches of the public order and two for failing company with direction from a Garda.
The protest began at 2pm with large crowds marching through the city carrying banners bearing slogans like “Tell the Truth” and “Freedom Not Tyranny”.
— Roisin Burke (@Journo_lady) March 6, 2021
Some demonstrators were also photographed wearing badges claiming Covid was “equal to fascism”.
Several hundred people eventually gathered in Patrick Street to listen to several speakers give speeches outlining their opposition to the Irish government’s ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
The event concluded with those in attendance singing the Irish National Anthem.
Ahead of the protest of one the organisers, the secretary of The People's Convention Diarmuid Ó Cadhla, had insisted the demonstrations would go ahead without any of the violence.
— Cork's 96FM (@Corks96FM) March 6, 2021
“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.”
That proved to be the case on the day with the protest concluding largely without incident.
— Noel Baker (@noelbaker1) March 6, 2021
Despite the protest going off without a hitch, the event nevertheless went ahead despite Cork Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh and government minister Simon Coveney calling for it to be cancelled.