Hundreds gathered in Dublin yesterday for opposing demonstrations on immigration, with tensions rising between anti-immigration activists and anti-racism campaigners. Eleven arrests were made as the two groups, separated by Gardaí, exchanged chants and slogans on O’Connell Street.
The anti-immigration protest, organized by The Freedom Party, drew an estimated 500-700 people, including families and children. Speakers criticized the Irish government, Taoiseach Varadkar, and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, while chanting “Out, out, out”, “Ireland is full” and “Ireland for the Irish.” This follows growing tension in Ireland based on the housing crisis, immigration practices and uncontrolled migration that saw over 141,600 immigrants entering the country in 2023, and many hotels closed to the public to house asylum seekers and those seeking international protection.
Meanwhile, counter-protesters voiced their opposition to racism and xenophobia. A Garda spokesperson acknowledged the “challenging environment” managed by over 300 officers, as they ensured both groups could express their views while maintaining public order.
Despite isolated incidents, police Superintendent McMenamin commended the peaceful conduct of most participants and thanked nearby businesses and transportation services for their cooperation.