Saturday 20 April 2019

'No underlying aggressive intention' - teens investigated after making 'hand gestures' during Dublin St Patrick's Parade

A spokesperson for St Patrick's Festival said that the teenagers were investigated and that no offence was intended. Photo: RTE player
A spokesperson for St Patrick's Festival said that the teenagers were investigated and that no offence was intended. Photo: RTE player
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

ORGANISERS of the Dublin St Patrick's Day Parade investigated an incident this afternoon after two teenagers were caught on TV making 'hand gestures' during the festivities.

The gestures resembled a 'white power' symbol made by suspected white supremacist Brendon Tarrant in court yesterday, charged with murder in the Christchurch mosque attack.

The teens, who were participating in the parade as part of a local community group, were caught by RTÉ viewers of the parade.

However a spokesperson for St Patrick's Festival said that the teenagers were investigated and that no offence was intended.

The gesture is often made in the 'circle game', when a player creates a circle with their thumb and forefinger below their waist. Photo: RTE player
The gesture is often made in the 'circle game', when a player creates a circle with their thumb and forefinger below their waist. Photo: RTE player

"We are aware that members of a local community youth group that participated in today’s Festival Parade made hand gestures during the Parade," a spokesperson told Independent.ie.

"When brought to our attention, we investigated it fully and the teenagers in question confirmed that there was no underlying aggressive intention in their behaviour whatsoever."

The spokesperson added that the gestures were "misconstrued" and part of a viral game.

"The festival can confirm that it has been working with the groups involved for over four months and each participant is known personally to the organisers.

"The gestures were misconstrued and it was in fact a viral meme game they were playing.

"St Patrick’s Festival take such issues extremely seriously, have investigated it fully and is now fully satisfied that no offence was intended."

The gesture is often made in the 'circle game', when a player creates a circle with their thumb and forefinger below their waist.

The goal of the game is to trick another person into looking at their hand.

But the 'ok symbol' has also being associated with the words 'white power', with the three fingers allegedly making a 'W' while the circle creates a 'P'.

Australian Tarrant (28) was photographed making the symbol during his first appearance at Christchurch District Court yesterday.

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