On Wednesday, September 20, a group of roughly 200 far-right protestors gathered at the Dáil in Dublin, with attendees bringing mock gallows to the demonstration.
The wooden structure featured a stuffed figure hanging from a noose and had photographs of high-profile Irish politicians nailed to its frame. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, and Ministers Simon Coveney, Norma Foley and Roderic O’Gorman all had their portraits attached to the display, as did TDs including Eoin Ó Broin and Solidarity-People Before Profit deputies Paul Murphy and Brid Smith
Gardaí fenced off the main entrance to the building, although politicians and journalists entering the premises were approached by demonstrators and called “traitors” by the crowd. Various chants opposing trans rights, migration and hate speech laws were also shouted by those gathered, who also held signs including slogans such as “Irish lives matter” and “Beep if you know our politicians are corrupt”.
Baying mob of far-right bigots with a gallows outside the Dáil singing ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’ ? pic.twitter.com/WmAGWs1UNA
— Ireland against Fascism (@IrlagainstFash) September 20, 2023
As a result of the demonstration, the nearby National Library of Ireland was forced to shut, and two men were arrested under the Public Order Act and have been charged to appear in court.
Speaking about the protest at the Dáil, and in particular the mock gallows, Tánaiste Micheál Martin described it as a “very personalised attack” on politicians.
“That’s unacceptable and irreprehensible,” he said, commenting from the UN General Assembly in New York.
“Many people have commented to me here…about how Ireland is politically effective now at harnessing civil society and debates on a whole rang of issues. People are actually interested in the processes (and) we use that to try and get better input from civil society.
“There’s no need for that kind of behaviour,” Mr Martin added.
They have a gallows and a noose set up at the Dáil with photos of TDs stuck to it. If you haven’t paid attention before, please do now. This is an extremely violent group of far-right people. Stay well away from the area all day today. ?
— Cork Rebels for Peace (@RebelsForPeace) September 20, 2023
The National LGBT Federation (NXF) has also responded to the thuggish scenes where trans rights and the soon-to-be enacted Hate Offences Bill were among the targets of the protesters.
Board Director Adam Long stated: “The NXF joins in the widespread condemnation of yesterday’s shameful thuggery by far-right agitators at our national parliament. Librarians and other workers have been subjected to similar harassment and abuse by these agitators, which is also utterly unacceptable and merits a robust response.
“A wake-up call if needed.”
The protest outside Leinster House has become an annual affair, taking place on the return of the Dáil session after the summer break.
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