Congress condemns violence and Dublin protest

The ICTU is gravely concerned at the outbreak of violence and disregard for public health guidelines in Dublin at the weekend. Speaking today Patricia King, General Secretary, said: “the violent scenes at Saturday’s protest are unacceptable. Gardaí should be able to go about their work in policing society and keeping people safe without threats of violence, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic. They are frontline public servants and like all workers, they have a right to have their health and safety protected.

We ask everyone to support the necessary public health guidelines at this time in order that as a state we can overcome the COVID-19 crisis. This does not mean that people cannot question the government and its strategies in addressing the pandemic. The trade union movement upholds the right to protest and to hold the authorities to account. This right must be exercised responsibly, peacefully, and in accordance with the law.

Clearly, this protest was not. It was contrary to the public health guidelines and was reckless and dangerous. Indeed it is clear that some engaged in such actions are far-right sympathisers with views that are unacceptable in any progressive and inclusive society. Such far-right views must be challenged by all in order that we always uphold democratic values and principles in the interests of all of our citizens.”