Sunday 17 December 2017

WATCH: RTE doc airs shocking scenes of violent clashes at anti-immigration group launch in Dublin

Scenes from I Am Immigrant, RTE2, Thursday March 31st, 9.30pm
Scenes from I Am Immigrant, RTE2, Thursday March 31st, 9.30pm
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

An RTE documentary will air footage of the violent clashes between members of anti-Islam group Pegida and anti-racism protesters which took place on the streets of Dublin in February.

The second of RTE's three-part series 'I Am Immigrant' follows Chairman of Pegida and Identity Ireland founder Peter O'Loughlin as he campaigns on an anti-mass migration ticket in the recent general election.

Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, began in Germany last year, largely in response to the European refugee crisis.

The group launched their Irish arm in Dublin on February 5 outside the GPO, prompting protests from an estimated 1000 anti-racism and Muslim groups, some of which turned violent.

RTE cameras followed O'Loughlin as he journeyed to the launch on the LUAS and captured an attack on him and fellow Pegida and Identity Ireland members.

There was further violence on the day as an 'anti-racist coalition' held a counter demonstration in protest of Pegida on O'Connell Street in the city centre.

Gardaí with batons stepped in to deal with violence that erupted when the protesters pursued several men they believed to be Pegida members.

The demonstration had initially been peaceful with over 1,000 anti-racist and Muslim groups assembling on O'Connell Street.

However, a splinter group wearing masks chased some Pegida supporters down Talbot Street and riot police descended to quell the violence.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent at the time, Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, who is chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and was present at the counter-demonstration, said: "The vast majority of those in the protest today were peaceful. I think (those involved in violence) were a minority."

He added, "As a member of the Muslim community, we would urge everyone to remain peaceful. It is not the right way to respond with violence - you have to respond with dialogue, even if that is a Pegida member. It is absolutely wrong, we do not condone it."

I Am Immigrant airs Thursday 31st March 9.30 RTÉ2

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