Huge crowds have gathered in Dublin city today to protest against lockdown and wearing face masks.
The protests, organised by Health Freedom Ireland with the support of Yellow Vest Ireland was widely publicised in the past week, gaining significant traction among far-right groups.
Beautiful empowering peaceful #protest by a few thousand men, women & children today in #Dublin ☘️ A sleeping Giant has awoken. Well done @HealthFreedomIE , Yellow Vests & all the excellent speakers. #Freedom of speech, thought, assembly & bodily integrity for all ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/hmCwW9dKOk
— Empowering people to thrive as old paradigms fail (@MarkTOByrne) August 22, 2020
Videos shared to social media show protesters packed together with no social distancing or face masks.
Protest taking place at the Custom House in Dublin this afternoon against Government Covid restrictions such as mask wearing, mandatory vaccines and local lockdowns. Approx 500 people gathered in a crowd not wearing masks. pic.twitter.com/jTIsRhe1RL
— Julieanne Corr (@JulieanneCorr) August 22, 2020
The protests are led by anti-vaccination campaigners Maeve Murran and Kelly Johnson. A statement released by HFI stated that the issues being protested include “insistence on using the store-provided hand sanitisers, even when people bring their own” and “discussion of social distancing, mask wearing and other measures in school."
Professor Dolores Cahill, who was recently asked to resign from her role as vice chair of the Scientific Committee of the Innovative Medicines Initiative over online claims she made about the Covid-19 pandemic, was among the speakers to address the crowd today.
Professor Dolores Cahill: “There have been unnecessary deaths... but it will be 10 to 20 times more people that will die because of the lockdown”. pic.twitter.com/ouBlTHrarx
— HealthFreedomIreland (@HealthFreedomIE) August 22, 2020
Jim Corr, who has been an extremely vocal anti-masker is also in attendance at today's protest.
A garda source told The Irish Times that there is concern that the Oireachtas Golf event scandal may further fuel unrest in protestors today:
“There is worry that the anger generated by the controversy in Galway and the possibility of more restrictions will lead to a large turnout and heightened temperatures.
“That comes with public safety risks.”
Lead image via Twitter/eileeniorio