Cork library protester arrested over alleged harassment

The person arrested is believed to be involved in protests at public libraries in Cork where members of staff were intimidated and harassed over LGBTQ+ books.

Exterior photo of Cork garda station where man was arrested over allegedly library protests.
Image: Twitter @A2Architects

A Cork library protester was arrested on Saturday, August 26 2023, on charges related to reports of “alleged harassment”.

The man in question presented himself at the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork after Gardaí went to his address earlier in the day but he was not home. He was arrested and detained at the Garda station on Saturday evening.

The person arrested is believed to be involved with protests opposing LGBTQ+ books in Cork City Library. Since March, there have been several reports of people entering libraries in Ireland, destroying LGBTQ+ books, and calling staff “paedophiles” and “groomers”.

Gardaí confirmed to the Irish Examiner that the man “has since been released” and “a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.”


Gardaí are also investigating an incident that occurred earlier on Saturday when Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy was attending the North Main St carnival.

McCarthy was confronted by far-right demonstrator Ross Lahive on a Cork City street and challenged over his recent comments regarding Mr Lahive’s planned protest which led to the temporary closure of Cork’s public library.

When Lahive asked if McCarthy knew who he was, McCarthy responded: “Yes, I’ve been waiting for this,” and then performed the Oklahoma musical show tune, ‘Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’! while Lahive recorded the interaction on his phone.


Library staff across the country and abroad continue to face intimidation and harassment from far-right protestors objecting to the presence of LGBTQ+ books. According to Gardaí sources, some protesters who participated in the recent anti-LGBTQ+ rally at the Cork library were linked to far-right groups in Britain.

Last week, a library in California and a nearby school were forced to evacuate after an anonymous caller using anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech made a bomb threat. The threat came one day after a right-wing group tried to host a transphobic event, prompting library staff to inform speakers that misgendering trans people violates the library’s code of conduct.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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