THE ORGANISER of an anti-lockdown protest planned to take place in Cork City this weekend has insisted that protesters have a right to break rules pertaining to the Covid-19 crisis.
Diarmuid Ó Cadhla is adamant that Saturday's march will go ahead, despite police clashing with anti-lockdown protesters in Dublin last weekend.
Mr Ó Cadhla says that the event in Cork will be peaceful and "family friendly," adding that it is entirely unconnected to the violence witnessed in Dublin a few days ago.
He said that despite the pandemic, the public should not be denied the right to protest if they so wish, even if doing so is to be in breach of such rules.
Mr Ó Cadhla, who is a former Cork county councillor, says that protesters will indeed be breaking the current 5km travel limit rule to attend, and has insisted that he won't be forcing anyone to adhere to social distancing when they arrive either.
Saturday 6th March, Cork.
I will be supporting this important event.
Our Civil & Human Rights are under attack.
Proper Health Care is neglected.
We are being LIED to all day, every day, by our own Government.
Debate is censored.
It is time to stand up for TRUTH!#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/1Nn3H25e1S
— Diarmaid Ó CADHLA (@GraTire) February 15, 2021
His comments come after gardaí announced on Monday that they would be investigating anyone suspected of breaching public health guidelines at the protest, and will send files to the DPP if required.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn condemned the protests in Dublin at the weekend, saying: "What happened cannot be condoned. It shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't happen again."
Hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital last Saturday to protest current lockdown regulations, particularly in light of the Government's recent announcement that lockdown is to be extended into April and possibly even into May.
In total, 23 people were arrested, and things turned violent as fireworks were set off, inuring three officers, one of which needed hospital treatment as a result.