Leinster House protests 'profoundly anti-democratic' - Bacik

Thirteen arrests were made over the course of the protests, which featured gallows showing an effigy of a man hanging from a noose
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.38 21 Sep 2023

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Leinster House protests 'profo...

Leinster House protests 'profoundly anti-democratic' - Bacik

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.38 21 Sep 2023

Share this article

Protests outside Leinster House on Wednesday were "profoundly anti-democratic", Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik has said.

Around 200 protesters held a demonstration bearing signs and banners featuring anti-immigration slogans.

Gallows featuring an effigy of a man hanging from a noose were also seen covered with images of high-profile TDs including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.


Several TDs were also labelled ‘globalist traitors’ on posters.

Protesters outside Leinster House, Dublin, as the Dail resumes after summer recess, 20/09/2023. Image: PA Image/Alamy Stock.

Thirteen arrests were made over the course of the protests.

Deputy Bacik told Newstalk Breakfast she supports the right to protest.

"Yesterday's event were pretty dreadful, they were profoundly anti-democratic in fact," she said.

"I would defend the right to protest; I've protested myself outside Leinster House.

"I think it's very important that people would have a right to protest, a right to freedom of assembly outside our Parliament.

"What we saw yesterday was profoundly anti-democratic.

"The individuals involved, and they were a relatively small number, engaged in violent and threatening tactics, they blocked and obstructed members of the Oireachtas and staff and visitors from entering Leinster House."

'Review of security'

Deputy Bacik said the demonstrators prevented "at least two other planned political events" from going ahead.

"I support the Ceann Comhairle's call for a review of security arrangements around Leinster House," she said.

"I'm a member of the Task Force on Safe Participation in Political Life that the Ceann Comhairle pulled together.

"I first raised this in the Dáil because of concerns about safety of individual public representatives and their staff."

'Messages of hate'

Deputy Bacik said social media companies have a bigger role to play.

"In think what's particularly different now is the fact that... far right groups can spread a message of hate," she said.

"They can spread disinformation online.

"Indeed one of the focuses of our task force is to look at how we can require social media platforms to promote civility of discourse... to ensure that they're not being used to spread lies, to spread hate.

"It is of concern that small numbers can use social media platforms in this way.

"It is important that we would call on Meta, Twitter and all the other platforms to take much more proactive steps to prevent this happening - and indeed to take down disinformation," she added.

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae told The Hard Shoulder a young intern was “shoved and pulled” by protestors and possibly had her phone stolen.

Main image: Split screen shows Labour leader Ivana Bacik, and Gardaí confront protestors outside Leinster House on Merrion Street in Dublin city

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Anti-democratic Ceann Comhairle Gallows Ivana Bacik Labour Party Leinster House Leinster House Protests Meta Newstalk Breakfast Protests Security Social Media Threatening Tactics Twitter Violent

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