Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters held a sit-down protest on Grafton Street in Dublin on Saturday in a continued campaign against the Irish Government's coronavirus restrictions.
The protest, organized by Yellow Vest Ireland and Health Freedom Ireland, began with a rally outside the Custom House on Dublin's Quay before the demonstrators marched to Grafton Street to stage the sit-down protest.
Protesters shouted "take off your masks" at shoppers walking along Grafton Street and additionally chanted "no more masks" and "no more lockdown".
Both Yellow Vest Ireland and Health Freedom Ireland are anti-mask, anti-lockdown, and anti-mandatory vaccinations and protesters yesterday campaigned for their right to choose whether to wear masks or receive a vaccine.
Dr. Andrew Wynne also addressed the crowd, claiming that COVID-19 was not a deadly virus and that people did not need to fear it.
The protest was heavily condemned on social media, with many claiming that the rally was irresponsible and dangerous at a time when Dublin is reporting over 200 new coronavirus cases a day.
In Dublin hundreds of people at anti mask protest on Custom House Quay marched over to Grafton Street where they chanted "take off your mask" at shoppers and staged sit down protest chanting "no more masks" and "no more lockdown" Thanks to @PaulDeighano for pictures @rtenews pic.twitter.com/oEtUzZmpxO— Colman O'Sullivan (@colmanos) October 3, 2020
Dublin is already on Level 3 of the Irish Government's Living With COVID plan. Only one other county - Donegal - has been downgraded to Level 3.
Gardaí are investigating the organization of the protest to determine whether there was any breach of public health regulations and will submit a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions advising them how to proceed with the investigation.
Earlier in the day, on the opposite side of the city, around 150 people gathered at the General Post Office on O'Connell Street for a counter-protest which they say is to reclaim the GPO from the far-right, according to RTÉ News.
The counter-protesters stood in solidarity with healthcare workers and held signs saying "Ireland Against Racism".
They said that they chose to demonstrate at the GPO because they are republicans and the GPO was the main site of the 1916 Easter Rising.