Dublin Riots

While driving around Ireland on a wedding-location-scouting trip, we started receiving texts talking about riots in Dublin; I texted a friend, and got a reply along these lines: “Celtic-topped scobes run riot through O’Connell St, torching cars in Nassau street, hospitalising cops and Charlie Bird. madness!”

I thought he was joking, but nope. A load of IRA-slogan-shouting scumbags really had been allowed to run riot — with paving stones of all things left unsecured in their midst! — and it quickly got way, way out of hand.

The blog coverage is excellent, with lots of photos. I suggest starting with Indymedia Ireland, these Flickr photos and the links on this weblog. It appears the gardai really fell down on this one.

For what it’s worth, I was in town a few hours later, and the rest of Dublin was trouble-free — just the usual Saturday night goings-on. O’Connell St. was still a rubble-strewn mess when I passed through on Sunday, though.

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  1. ben
    Posted February 27, 2006 at 18:26 | Permalink

    Better Dubliners running riot in Dublin than the DUP/UVF mob who had come down. Every single one of the loyalists should have been apprehended at the border, interrogated under the PTA, and deported to London if not charged. If the government wouldn’t do its job and prevent foreign paramilitary adventurists from trying to repeat Clontibret in Dublin, then this was absolutely inevitable. A government shouldn’t allow organized squads of foreign activists with declared malicious intent into the country.

    I think the construction workers had a fair idea of exactly what was going on, too. Oops, forget to lock away these things that could possibly be used as missiles and weapons here, how did that happen?

    Either way, you’d have to be a completely out-of-touch elitist like McDowell to imagine for a minute that the people of Dublin were going to allow this march to happen. Whether they’re stopped by the government or by rioters, those people are not marching down O’Connell Street, ever.

  2. Posted March 1, 2006 at 13:33 | Permalink

    Ben’s comment above is factually inaccurate on several points.

    1. The march was not organised by the DUP or UVF, but rather by an organisation representing the victims of republican violence.

    2. The march was legal, and organised in advance with the co-operation of the Irish Gardai (police) – the notion that the marchers themselves intended rioting is absurd. Even the mainstream republican party, Sinn Fein, didn’t oppose the march.

    3. Due to an ongoing renovation project, O’Connell street has contained construction material for several months – the idea that the construction workers conspired to provide rioting material is just preposterous wishful thinking.

    4. The rioters do not represent “The People of Dublin” – the rioters were a ew hundred opportunistic teenage looters, taking advantage of the chaos caused by lax policing, and riled up by fringe extremist republicans.

    5. The vast majority of Dubliners abhor what occured on Saturday. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the politics, background, opinions or religion of the marchers, they had a legal right to walk down O’Connell Street. They were denied this right by a tiny minority of extremists.

    6. The rioting was, above all, just plain stupid, unthinking and moronic. By showing the true face of their bigotry and intolerance, extermist republicans have set back their own political agenda, never mind attempts at reconciliation between the two communities.

    But make your own mind up.

    These were the marchers, which ben thinks were about to riot:: http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/feb2006/orangemarchfront.jpg

    Here’s the brave, glorious “freedom fighter” rioters torching cars with british registration plates, and smashing a protestant school bus on South Leinster Street: http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/feb2006/13streetsmoke.gif

    Here’s Ireland’s best known TV reporter, beaten and almost killed by the mob because he’s protestant, and therefore, according to the extermists’ logic, an “orange bastard”: http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/feb2006/dubriotpressimages09.jpg

    Contrary to what Ben claims, most Dubliners were tolerant of the march. While many would not agree with the politics of the marchers, it was the marchers’ legal right to make their point peacefully, as they had arranged in advance with the Dublin police.

    But every community has its crackpots and its extermists, and unfortunately these neo-fascists and were allowed, though lax policing, to deny the marchers their rights on Saturday.

  3. Adrian Colley
    Posted March 3, 2006 at 09:20 | Permalink

    As a Dubliner, I can say with confidence that the people of Dublin don’t really care who marches down O’Connell St so long as they’re gone before rush hour. And I take exception to the defamation of my country by thugs who try publicly to pass off their disgraceful acts as Irish patriotism. It’s already bad enough that they call themselves “republicans” while simultaneously acting to oppose fundamental republican principles (such as individual liberty and the rule of law).

    In other words: if you must be a sectarian throwback, try not to inflict it on other people.