A MAN has been arrested after he reversed a van through the gates of the Russian embassy this afternoon.
No injuries were reported following the incident which occurred at approximately 1.30pm, however a Garda spokesperson confirmed that an investigation into an incident of "criminal damage" has been launched.
"One male was arrested and taken to Rathfarnham Garda Station where he is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984," they said. "Investigations are ongoing.”
Videos of the incident appeared on social media showing an ecclesiastical truck with a trailer reverse into the gates, forcing them open.
— Laura Moth (@EisabelMoth) March 7, 2022
Some onlookers watched and supported the driver.
According to the Irish Times, the driver described himself as a "working man" from Co Leitrim. Once he crashed through the gates, he exited the vehicle and handed out photos of what he called "Russian atrocities" in Ukraine.
"I want the Ambassador and his colleagues to leave this country, leave this free country," he said. "It’s about time we stood up."
"I’ve done my bit lads," he said as he was led away by gardaí. "It’s about time the rest of Ireland done their bit."
In a statement, a Russian embassy spokeswoman said: “The incident took place in the presence of Garda officers, who stood idle.
"The embassy strongly condemns this criminal act of insanity directed against a peaceful diplomatic mission. The embassy views this incident as a clear and blatant violation of the article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961.
"The embassy is in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, demanding that the Irish authorities take comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of its staff and their family members.
"The incident is cause of extreme concern. We believe that no people of sound mind could support such senseless and barbaric actions," the spokeswoman said.
A Garda spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegation that gardaí stood idly by, saying the force "does not comment on statements or remarks made by third parties".
The embassy has been the site of daily protests since the invasion of Ukraine began, and last week the Russian ambassador to Ireland described the country as being at the forefront of anti-Russian events.