Protesters march to Mountjoy Prison
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has called tonight's protest against the jailing of five water charge protesters as "counterproductive".
Protesters blocked traffic for a short time before 5pm on O’Connell Bridge, and later completely blocked northbound traffic on O’Connell Street outside the GPO.
Tonight, Mr Adams said: "Anti-water protesters should be released but keeping other citizens in traffic gridlock is counterproductive."
He added "[this] plays into the hands of the Establishment".
City Centre: Protest is currently outside the GPO on O'Connell St northbound. O'Connell St closed north at O'Connell Bridge.— Live Drive (@LiveDrive) February 19, 2015
Earlier today, three people were jailed for 28 days and two others were jailed for 56 days for contempt of court.
Tonight's demonstration was organised by protesters in solidarity with the prisoners.
Many protesters had moved from the Criminal Courts of Justice to the city centre to stage the protest against the jailings and they also demonstrated against the imposition of water charges.
Protester Quintin Radford (43), a father-of-four from Coolock, said he was taking part in a sit down protest on O’Connell Street in solidarity with the five people who were jailed for contempt.
City Centre: O'Connell Bridge has reopened, however northbound traffic on O'Connell St is still being affected by a protest.— Live Drive (@LiveDrive) February 19, 2015
“As far as I’m concerned, I believe the court ruling goes against the public’s right to protest peacefully,” he said.
“Some people would try and make the people who protest against water charges into some kind of villains. But we are not villains. I’m an engineer working to support by four children,” he said.
The protesters said they decided to move from O’Connell Bridge to the GPO after around 20 minutes.
They said they were waiting for more supporters to arrive before beginning a slow march to Mountjoy Prison where they planned to hold a peaceful protest outside the jail in support of the five imprisoned supporters.
Marcher John Preston (49) from Coolock said: “It’s terrible they are sending people to prison. I feel they are trying to frighten us from protesting but we intend to keep the pressure up.”
Sitdown protestor Peter Jones (31) of Coolock said he was very disappointed with Tanaiste Joan Burton. “She was good in opposition but now she is like Margaret Thatcher The Second! We will keep protesting until they abolish the water charges,” he said.
At rush hour, Dublin Bus advised customers heading Northbound to proceed to Parnell Square to catch their buses.
It said all routes operating on the southside of the city were operating as normal but delays should be expected.
RTE's Six One News attempted to broadcast live in the midst of protests but failed when protesters interrupted the live report.
At around 3pm today, protest group Dublin Says No alerted its followers to the protest.
"Meet [at] 5pm GPO to march to Mountjoy," the group announced on its Facebook page.