Protesters vow to continue bridge campaign despite arrests
Published 13/08/2014 | 02:30
Two protesters picketing against the construction of a new bridge in the centre of the medieval city of Kilkenny have been arrested.
Both men were briefly held at the garda station in Kilkenny under the Public Order Act before being released without charge and files are now being prepared for the DPP.
The men are part of a round-the-clock protest held near Green's Bridge in Kilkenny since work on the new €4m bridge started over five weeks ago.
Gardaí have been present on occasion to help to escort equipment and materials being brought on-site by contractors working on the Central Access Scheme road project for Kilkenny County Council.
However, yesterday was the first time arrests were made when gardai arrived at around 9am at the entrance to the construction site to escort trucks carrying building material.
One of the men arrested Mark Stewart later said he told gardaí he thought the arrests were "unlawful" as the protesters felt they had legal cause to be present on the footpaths near Green's Bridge, at the entrance to the construction site.
"Our aim is not to block trucks," he said. "Our aim is to peacefully protest on the footpath."
Mr Stewart said he has never been arrested before but was "treated very well" by the gardaí involved and it will not stop the protest.
Superintendent Padraig Dunne said both of the people arrested were only held for a short time.
Around 20 gardai were in attendance at the entrance of the construction site to escort trucks which were carrying building material.
Campaigners against the CAS say it will cause irreversible damage, while some residents feel it is necessary to relieve traffic congestion.