GARDAI placed an unprecedented ring of steel around Leinster House today as politicians returned from their summer recess.
Dozens of officers were drafted in amid fears that demonstrators would attempt to chain themselves to the gates.
Among those present as TDs and senators arrived were members of the Dublin 32 County Sovereignty Movement – a republican wing connected to murdered Real IRA boss Alan Ryan.
A number of scuffles broke out at the gates of the Dail at around 11am today as politicians and their staff began making their way inside.
The scale of the barriers placed on Kildare Street was unprecedented with sources admitting that trouble was expected.
“It became clear that a number of groups, including those associated with Alan Ryan, were intending to turn out on the first day of the Dail. It was decided to put in a place a serious security operation,” a source explained.
Associates of Ryan have staged several demonstrations in recent weeks. The protest today was announced on the Facebook Page of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
“No doubt there will be heavy handed free state police there to try and stop our protest but with strength in numbers we will over come and push them back!. So everyone try and make it to this protest on the 18th our children’s future depend on it.”