Saturday 16 December 2017

'I want Shatter' cry from man doused in fuel

Gardai cordoned off the area outside Leinster House as the Moroccan man on top of the van threatened to ignite the petrol soaking his clothes. Eventually, he surrendered to gardai and was arrested.
Gardai cordoned off the area outside Leinster House as the Moroccan man on top of the van threatened to ignite the petrol soaking his clothes. Eventually, he surrendered to gardai and was arrested.

"SHATTER, I want Shatter," he screamed as gardai cordoned off the corner of Kildare Street and Molesworth Street, just outside the gates of the Dail.

It was just after 4pm on a busy, wet Thursday afternoon when the city-centre traffic was stopped by the sight of a man standing on top of a white van holding a lighter, having doused himself in petrol.

Gardai immediately began moving observers back to a safe distance and blocked the street off as the man, a Moroccan in his early 40s, threatened to set himself alight.

His protest related to his attempts to secure a visa to remain in Ireland, sources have said.

As the minutes passed and gardai struggled to maintain control of the situation, a number of officers approached the vehicle in order to convince the man to climb down. Meanwhile, the Dublin Fire Brigade arrived.

Among the onlookers to the incident – which lasted around 30 minutes – were Irish rugby players Jamie Heaslip and Cian Healy as the petrol fumes wafted in the air.

Other spectators began recording the incident on their camera phones.

The tense situation escalated when a number of onlookers broke the garda cordon only to be shouted at to "get back, get back".

Officers carrying fire extinguishers began to surround the 04 Offaly-registered van.

Then, as our pictures show, shortly before 4.30pm the protester signalled that he was willing to end his stand-off. He threw his lighter to the ground, then put down his half-filled Coke bottle of petrol and slid down the front windscreen before being engulfed by officers, who immediately arrested him.

While subdued, the man's pockets were searched and matches were found and thrown away to eliminate any chance of him catching fire.

With as many as 10 officers around him, he was bundled into the back of a blue unmarked garda car which sped away to Pearse Street station. The man appeared in court the following morning on a public-order offence.

Irish Independent

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