WATCH: Clashes on O'Connell St following launch of Pegida Ireland

RTÉ are to lodge a complaint after a cameraman was injured by a member of An Garda Síochána

WATCH: Clashes on O'Connell St following launch of Pegida Ireland

06/02/2016. Pictured anti racist Protesters attck a group of suspected Pegida Ireland on North Earl street in Dublin this afternoon. (RollingNews/Sam Boal)

Gardaí clashed with anti-racism protesters in Dublin at the launch anti-immigration group Pegida Ireland this afternoon.

Scuffles began when anti-racism protesters split from a counter-demonstration and chased a number of people into a shop on North Earl St.

Gardaí then moved in to clear the street with batons, establishing a cordon between the two groups. No arrests were made during the incident.

RTÉ says one of its cameramen was injured during the scuffles and it will lodge a complaint with An Garda Síochána about the policing of the incident.

Anti-immigration party Identity Ireland claimed on Twitter that its leader Peter O'Loughlin was attacked and taken to hospital, though this has not been verified.


Speaks for it self

Posted by Gerard Kavanagh on Saturday, 6 February 2016

The newly-formed Pegida Ireland announced its launch would take place at 3pm in front of the GPO. A counter-demonstration was then organised for 1.30pm by European Network Against Racism, Ireland (ENAR) together with dozens of anti-racism and Islamic groups. 

The peaceful counter-demonstration, attended by several hundred people, was addressed by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith and Chair Of The Irish Muslim Peace and Intergration Council Shaykh Dr Umar Al Qadri. 

Al Qadri told the crowd that when his son had heard of the anti-racism demonstration, he had said he was "proud to be Irish." He also stressed that extremist groups like Isis are not representative of Muslims.

"1.6 billion Muslims do not support Isis or Al Qaeda... 1.6 billion Muslims are not terrorists," he said.

In a statement, Director of ENAR Ireland Shane O’Curry claimed victory of Pegida Ireland:

“What we had to day was a show of strength in numbers from the majority of people in Ireland... all speaking with one voice, resoundingly rejecting the language of hate.” 

“This broad, nonviolent, festive and enthusiastic turnout demonstrated very loudly that there is no appetite in Ireland for the politics of Islamaphobia and bigotry.

He distanced ENAR from the skirmish outside the rally, but acknowledged that such occurrences "invariably accompany the Pegida phenomenon."

Pegida, which stands for 'Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident,' was founded in Germany in 2014 to oppose immigration, particularly from Muslim nations. Widely accused of racism and fascism, it operates in a number of European countries.

Today's rally in Dublin was part of a wider day of action across the continent, which saw similar scenes in Dresden, Calais and Birmingham.



06/02/2016. Anti-racism rally at GPO. Pictured Chair Of The Irish Muslim Peace and Intergration Council Shaykh Dr Umar Al Qadri addessing the Anti-racism rally at GPO who gathered to oppose Pegida Ireland who are against a supposed islamlification of Europe (RollingNews/Sam Boal)