As Gardaí investigate the display of mock gallows at a far-right protest outside the Dáil, some social media platforms have failed to remove footage of the demonstration from their sites.
The incident in question occurred at Leinster House on Wednesday, September 20, the day that the Irish government concluded its summer break. Roughly 200 far-right and anti-government protestors attended the demonstration, chanting and holding banners in opposition to trans rights, migration and hate speech laws.
In what Tánaiste Micheál Martin described as a “very personalised attack”, protestors also displayed a wooden structure featuring a stuffed figure hanging from a noose, with photographs of Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris pinned to its body. The frame also included headshots of other high-profile Irish figures, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Ministers Simon Coveney and Norma Foley.
Hate can’t be tolerated. Whether it is senators or influencers or their foot soldiers. Hate is transferable: The Jews, Muslims, Gay community, our trans friends, Asylum seekers, TDs, Doctors. Yesterday was the result of that tolerance. The Hate laws cannot be passed soon enough.
— Joe Brolly (@JoeBrolly1993) September 21, 2023
The display of mock gallows is currently being investigated as a potential criminal offence under laws that forbid incitement to hatred, public order offences and threatening and intimidating behaviour. So far, at least thirteen arrests have been made in connection with the protest, and authorities are reviewing CCTV to identify other offenders. Two detained persons have already been brought before the court, while the remaining are due at the Dublin District Court on October 18.
As a result of the demonstration, introducing “safe zones” around Leinster House is being explored to ensure that officials entering and leaving the building are protected.
Footage from the far-right protest at the Dáil has been shared on various social media platforms. TikTok has removed three videos of TDs being harassed and intimidated during the protest and deactivated at least two accounts that shared the images.
However, despite the ongoing investigations, images of the mock gallows remain online on multiple platforms, including Meta and YouTube. Both social media giants reviewed the posts and determined that they do not meet the threshold for removal under their respective community guidelines.
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