Skip to comments.IRA supporters attack police, thwart Protestant march through central Dublin
Posted on 02/25/2006 12:37:44 PM PST by Irish_Thatcherite
DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Several hundred Irish Republican army supporters attacked police on Dublin's central boulevard and near the parliament building Saturday to prevent an unprecedented parade by Northern Ireland Protestants.
In riotous scenes rarely seen in the Republic of Ireland, protesters hurled bottles, bricks and fireworks, at police as they tried to clear the hostile crowd from O'Connell Street.
The Garda Siochana, Ireland's national police force, said 14 people - six officers, seven protesters and a journalist - were hospitalized, mostly with head wounds. More than a dozen other people suffered less serious injuries. The police advised shoppers and tourists to avoid the entire city centre, which is normally packed with pedestrian traffic on Saturdays.
Officers in full riot gear - helmets, shields and clubs - arrested at least 37 protesters as a police surveillance plane circled overhead.
The protesters, mostly young men covering their faces with scarves, chanted pro-IRA slogans as they waged running battles with riot police and other officers on horseback for more than an hour, forcing shops on Ireland's most famous street to close. Afterward, O'Connell Street was littered with broken paving stones and glass from shattered shop windows.
Later, more scuffles broke out on Kildare Street near Leinster House, Ireland's parliament, and the country's national history and art museums. At least three cars were set on fire, one was flipped over, and the windows of several others were smashed as police struggled to contain the rioters.
The mayhem forced Protestant hardliners from the Love Ulster campaign to abandon their plan to parade through Dublin, which the Irish government had supported in a gesture of reconciliation. It would have been the first parade in Dublin by pro-British Protestants since Ireland's partition into a mostly Protestant north and mostly Catholic south in 1921.
Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said Protestant "unionists," who favour Northern Ireland's union with Britain, should have enjoyed freedom to demonstrate their views.
"There is absolutely no excuse for the disgraceful scenes in Dublin today," Ahern said. "It is the essence of Irish democracy and republicanism that people are allowed to express their views freely and in a peaceful manner."
Leaders of the aborted parade praised police efforts to protect them, but nonetheless handed a letter of protest to Justice Minister Michael McDowell during a meeting inside Leinster House.
A Protestant politician, Democratic Unionist party legislator Jeffrey Donaldson, said most of the rioters had travelled to Dublin from Catholic areas of Northern Ireland.
"We have received a warm welcome from ordinary Dubliners," Donaldson said. "But it's clear these republicans have come from north of the border and other areas intent only on causing trouble."
Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked party that represents most Catholics in Northern Ireland but is less popular south of the border, sought to distance itself from the violence.
Sean Crowe, a Sinn Fein member of parliament, said the Protestant marchers "came to Dublin today to be provocative and get a reaction. Sinn Fein urged people not to be provoked and to stay away, and the vast majority of Dubliners . . . did just that."
But the Social Democratic and Labour party, which represents moderate Catholic opinion in Northern Ireland, said republican rioters had reinforced Protestants' hostility to the idea of a politically united Ireland.
The Love Ulster campaign is led by Willie Frazer, several of whose relatives were killed by the modern IRA.
The IRA in 1970 launched a bloody campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom. The outlawed group killed about 1,775 people and maimed thousands more before calling a 1997 cease-fire.
A ping to the IRA traitors causing havoc in Ireland's capital!
See related thread from an RTE story here:
It was the IRA, no question about it!! They are terrorists and traitors, plain and simple!!
Sometimes people get tired on being sh!t on. It happens from time to time throughout the world. Signers of the Declaration of Independence thought so here.
It was the cartoons...It must have been the cartoons...There were cartoons weren't they? Tell me it was the cartoons....cartoons..cartoons...cartoons...they drive me mad...
LOL!! Must have been a cartoon of Patrick Pearse - the Mo of the IRA!!
You do realise that you are belittling your own patriots by regarding this riot as the same, six members of our police force was injured in the riot.
Funny how you blame a peaceful march, rather than a riot.
And BTW I am an Irish Catholic living in southern Ireland, I choose 'Thatcherite' in my screenname because I agree with Thatcher's economic policy, and she fought against the IRA. And remember that she was a staunch ally of Reagan!!
this whole Marching Season stuff seems a bit Nay NayNay NayNay Nay in your face nonsense anyway.
it's kinda like if Yankee's INSISTED that they march through Atlanta every year!!!
they'd get the same welcome... and rightly so.
No, it wasn't. The whole thing was Bush's fault.
If the Yankees marched on Atlanta, so what? Who cares about the slave owners!
LOL!! Cornpone believes it's the Danish cartoons!
As I posted, people are known to get 'uppity' when they are sh!t on - so I'm sure you want them kept in their place.
Of course I want a terrorist group kept in their place, a six-foot deep hole in ground, preferably.
And the overwhelming majority of Irish people think the same way about those scumbags!!
It's people like you that keeps the IRA in existence.