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Saturday 21 January 2017

Hero of Canadian parliament tackles protester

Ciara Treacy

Published 27/05/2016 | 02:30

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers intercepts a protester at a State ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers during 1916. Photo: Tony Gavin
Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers intercepts a protester at a State ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers during 1916. Photo: Tony Gavin

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers has previously tackled an armed terrorist - and yesterday he was the first to respond to a protester at a State ceremony in Dublin.

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Mr Vickers was previously hailed a hero when he took down a terrorist gunman in his native Canada.

He was yesterday at the ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers in 1916 at Grangegorman Military Cemetery.

At the beginning of the ceremony, during the welcome by MC Commandant Stephen MacEoin, a man in his 40s stood up shouting that the event was "an insult", before he was approached by the Canadian Ambassador.

The former Sergeant-at-Arms intercepted the protester and physically moved him away. The protester, who also spoke about justice for the 'Craigavon Two' jailed for the killing of a PSNI Constable, was arrested following the public order incident.

He was being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Blanchardstown Garda Station last night.

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers intercepts a protester at a State ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers during 1916. Photo: Tony Gavin
Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers intercepts a protester at a State ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers during 1916. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mr Vickers was hailed a hero after shooting gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who had killed a soldier at the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa in October 2014. A spokesman for the Ambassador said: "During a ceremony to remember British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising in 1916, Ambassador Kevin Vickers intercepted a protester who ran up to the podium. Moments later, security officers arrested the protester. Ambassador Vickers is safe and was not injured during the incident."

A spokeswoman for the Defence Forces said they were there in a ceremonial capacity and it was the duty of An Garda Síochána to intercept the man.

Also in attendance at Grangegorman were members of the Irish Defence Forces and British Armed Forces, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan, who was joined by British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott in laying wreaths.

Mr Flanagan said the event was "a symbol of the reconciliation" between Ireland and Britain.

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers intercepts a protester at a State ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers during 1916. Photo: Tony Gavin
Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers intercepts a protester at a State ceremony marking the deaths of British soldiers during 1916. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mr Vickers during the terrorist attack at Canada’s parliament
Mr Vickers during the terrorist attack at Canada’s parliament

Irish Independent

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