'Not my Taoiseach' protest called off early due to low turnout
IT was billed as Ireland's answer to the yellow vest protests in France - but in the end, almost nobody turned up.
There was a heavy garda presence outside the Dáil today in anticipation of what organisers predicted would be thousands of protesters angry at the Government.
Officers had a put up metal barriers in front of Leinster House while streets around the area, including Kildare Street, were closed to all traffic for around three hours for the ‘Not my Taoiseach,’ demonstration.
However only a tiny group turned up, some wearing the high visibility vests ubiquitous with the movement in France, but they were outnumbered by the gardaí there to police them.
Supporters on social media couldn’t hide their disappointment at the poor attendance, with some offering excuses for why they weren’t there or had to leave.
“Sorry that me knee has given up the ghost and I can't continue,” said one member of the group on Facebook.
“Just got home was there earlier can't make it back in now sorry,” said another. “We’re not at home we’re at work,” another said.
One member of the group hit out at the “keyboard warriors,” who apparently supported the event online but didn’t turn up.
According to the page statistics there were 13,000 interested in attending the event while 2,000 said they were going.
Posts on the page ranged from anger at the homeless crisis, to complaints about property tax.
Among the material remained posted to the page yesterday was a video about the Government’s plans to “import countless migrants to Ireland, largely from Africa,” which one member called “just plain racism.”
The demands of the group included the resignation of the Taoiseach and an election in 2019.
In France, the yellow vest movement has seen violent protests along with an incoherent political ideology, with some supporters expressing racist and xenophobic views.
There have also been physical assaults on journalists covering protests and on politicians.