'We have a right to break Covid rules', claims anti-lockdown protest organiser
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'We have a right to break Covid rules', claims anti-lockdown protest organiser

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.

27/02/2020. Anti Lockdown Protest - Dublin. Pictured members of An Garda Siochana are forced to draw battons as an angry Anti Lockdown protest tried to break through errected barriers to a meeting spot at St Stephens green, Fireworks and bottles where thrown up Grafton Street before the crowd marched around the City Center before finishing at the GPO. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
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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.

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.

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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.