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Thursday 14 December 2017

Four gardai injured at People’s Party protest

Alan O'Keeffe and Niall O’Connor

Three peopl have been charged in relation to public order offences at last night's protest outside the Convention Centre in Dublin.

Four gardai sustained minor injuries and at least three men were arrested last night after a peaceful anti-austerity protest outside a meeting of the European People's Party in Dublin turned violent.

Two men (one of whom is 42) and a woman (22) are due to appear before District Court No.2, Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin today at 10.30am.

Last night, a small number of youths wearing black masks, who had been watching the protest, attacked a garda cordon and verbally abused other peaceful demonstrators outside the Convention Centre.

The gardai were hurt when the hooded youths grabbed metal barriers near the Centre and pulled the barriers into the middle of the road.

Gardai, wielding telescopic batons, arrested one of the masked youths and reinforced the metal barrier on the roadway near the Convention Centre.

A total of 16 European leaders were attending the two-day event which brought 1,500 delegates and 400 journalists to Ireland.

The congress is being hosted by Fine Gael, which is affiliated to the EEP in the European Parliament.

Des Derwin of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions said the leaders attending the congress were the “aristocracy of austerity”.

He accused Enda Kenny of trying to promote “the illusion that good times are here again in Ireland”.

Meanwhile, Ukranian opposition politician Vitali Klitschko said his country is grateful for the support of the Irish people but the Government must put pressure on Russia to withdraw from Crimea,

The former boxer said a solution “without blood” must be found to resolve the raging crisis in Ukraine.

Leader of the Ukranian opposition Yulia Tymoshenko, who was also at the conference, warned that her people are ready to resist Russian moves to annex part of their country.

Speaking from a wheelchair because of a back injury neglected while in prison for two years, she said efforts |to hold a plebiscite in disputed Crimea were completely |illegal.

“I want everybody to know Ukrainians are ready to resist. Not just the army – but all citizens. It will be difficult to guarantee the consequences,” she told some 2,000 European People’s Party (EPP) delegates gathered at the Convention Centre.

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