Tuesday 18 June 2019

Footage emerges of man 'throwing a severed pigeon head' at housing activists

Payu Tiwari

Footage has emerged of a man appearing to throw a severed pigeon head at protesters during a 'Take Back The City' protest in Dublin.

The protest, which took place yesterday afternoon, saw hundreds of people close off traffic on the four corners of O'Connell Bridge.

A video posted online during the protest appeared to show a man throwing the head of a pigeon at a number of protesters.

The two men are understood to be tourists from England, which accents described as "strong midlands".

FINDING VOICE: Passersby and protestors on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin yesterday where a Take Back The City group organised a demonstration. Photo: Tony Gavin
FINDING VOICE: Passersby and protestors on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin yesterday where a Take Back The City group organised a demonstration. Photo: Tony Gavin

The video, which has since gone viral on Twitter, shows the two men dressed in bright clothing addressing the protesters on the bridge.

One of the men can be heard calling the protesters "lazy bastards" and "f***king scroungers", while the other man takes a decapitated pigeon head from his pocket and throws it at them.

The footage has caused a widespread reaction on social media, with the word "pigeon" trending in Dublin last night.

On a lighter note, the incident has also led to hashtag #pigeongate, a page flooded with jokes and memes about the incident.

The Take Back The City campaigners march along O’Connell Street
The Take Back The City campaigners march along O’Connell Street

Housing activist group 'Take Back The City' hit headlines yesterday after they closed off Dublin's O'Connell Bridge in attempt 'to shut down the whole city'.

Hundreds of people participated in the march towards the capital's main thoroughfare, with traffic coming to a standstill on the bridge.

Demonstrators take part in a sit-down protest on O’Connell Bridge (Brian Lawless/PA)
Demonstrators take part in a sit-down protest on O’Connell Bridge (Brian Lawless/PA)

The protesters sat on the north and south sides of the bridge, blocking traffic from crossing Dublin city centre.

The 'Take Back the City' protesters had initially gathered at the Garden of Remembrance at 1pm to demonstrate before marching down O'Connell St under a garda escort.

Speaking at the gathering, the spokesperson for 'Take Back the City' asked people to stand up against Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, adding that the government is "gentrifying the city and forcing people out of their communities."

"Stand up against Fine Gael and Fianna Fail privatisation policies. They’re gentrifying the city and forcing people out of their communities. It’s about time that people stand up and prove that housing is a human right for everybody," they said.

'Take Back The City', who have hit headlines for occupying vacant properties in Dublin's north inner city, said it's "time for the movement to grow".

Campaigners have been calling for vacant properties to be subject to Compulsory Purchase Orders to end evictions.

As part of their "nationwide action", rallies and protests were also organised in Cork, Waterford, Sligo, Wexford, Kildare, Limerick, Sligo, Derry, Belfast, Drogheda, Maynooth and Bray yesterday.

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