Newtownmountkennedy Clash: Six Arrested

Update 26/04/2024 14:02

The woman and three men are due to appear before a special sitting of Bray District Court this afternoon, Friday, 26th April 2024 at 2.30pm.

Update 26/04/2024

Gardaí maintained a presence overnight in Newtownmountkennedy, Co.Wicklow. No further significant incidents were reported overnight. Gardaí remain on site this morning.

Six arrests were made by Gardaí during yesterday’s serious public disorder.

3 men and 1 woman have been charged for offences contrary to the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994.  They will appear before the District Court later today.

One man has been charged with alleged offences contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 and the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1997, and released to appear before court at a later date.

One male juvenile has been released without charge. A referral will be prepared for the Youth Diversion Project in accordance with the Children Act 2001.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris visited the location at Newtownmountkennedy this morning. Speaking after that visit Commissioner Harris stated:

“There were very unacceptable scenes seen here in terms of a protest, which then turned to violence”.

“We’ve seen an attempt to burn a small outhouse type premises, but also then disgracefully attacks on members of An Garda Síochána who were attacked with stones and indeed vehicles have been damaged, and one vehicle, the vehicle behind me, was damaged with an axe.”

“As we can see with a normal patrol vehicle, both front window and the rear window have been smashed with an axe, not a hatchet, a full size axe. And also then we’ve had another vehicle lights broken and the Public Order vehicle with its tyres slashed.”

“Beyond that, there was there were attempts to injure members of An Garda Síochána. Rubble and stones were thrown from fields and members had to deploy in protective public order equipment and shields to make sure that they could protect themselves from the assaults upon them.”

A violent confrontation erupted as Gardaí guarding a premises were attacked by a group of individuals. The conflict arose after workers, contracted to perform lawful tasks, entered the site, which also saw the removal of several trespassers last night.

Throughout the day, uniformed Gardaí faced both verbal and physical abuse, escalating to the throwing of rocks and other objects by the evening. Additionally, fires were started, and an axe was recovered by the officers on site.

As tensions increased, Gardaí were compelled to use force to defend themselves, including incapacitant spray and the deployment of Public Order Gardaí equipped with helmets and shields. The situation necessitated the support from the Garda Public Order Unit, with about 50 members still present at the scene.

The disturbance led to significant damage to Garda property, including three patrol cars with broken windows and slashed tyres.

To date, six individuals have been arrested on charges under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994, and are being held at various Garda stations in Wicklow. Despite the intensity of the incident, there have been no reported injuries.

While those gathered have been moved away from the site entrance, many remain nearby. An Garda Síochána continues to uphold the right to peaceful protest, stressing that this does not extend to criminal actions or the disruption of others’ rights.

The response from An Garda Síochána is described as graduated, focusing on public safety and legislative adherence, with enforcement as a last measure.

Officials also warn of misinformation spreading about the incident, urging the public to seek accurate updates.





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