Irish Republican News · April 26, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]

Dublin is being flooded with police and water cannons have been requested from the PSNI in the Six Counties in what is believed to be one of the largest security operations in the history of the 26 Counties.

Hysteria has gripped the media over the possibility of violence at May Day protests to mark a gathering of European Union leaders.

Planted reports with graphic predictions of ‘May Day Mayhem’ and violence by ‘anarchists’ have baffled groups who had planned demonstrations against war, pollution and globalisation.

All Garda police leave has been cancelled and the entire force is being mobilised over the bank holiday weekend.

Socialist Party TD Jim Higgins accused the 26-County Prime Minister Bertie Ahern of encouraging “lurid security briefings” and hyping the prospect of violence for the ceremonies to mark the accession of 10 eastern European states to the European Union.

He claimed that the Government wanted to hype the violence to keep people from coming to Ireland. Mr Ahern said that “what you could do really constructively, Deputy Higgins, is you could call on some of the organisations in the UK not to come here, because you know some of them”.

An outraged Mr Higgins demanded to know what organisations he had anything to do with. Mr Ahern said he knew them well and “you should call on them not to come”.

Thousands of protesters from around the world are expected to converge in Dublin over the weekend as a historic gathering takes place at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park on May 1. It will be the first time that the heads of all 25 member states will meet.

The city’s hospitals are reported to have been advised to remain on full alert throughout the weekend, while naval vessels and army bomb disposal teams and chemical and nuclear units will be in Dublin in case of emergency.

More than 2,500 troops are to form back-up support for around 4,000 unarmed and riot gardai in one of the biggest security operations ever in the Republic.

The Garda air support unit will also patrol the skies above Dublin in a bid to spot trouble in the early stages.

A special Garda unit in Harcourt Square in Dublin is also said to have been monitoring internet sites run by anarchist and anti-globalisation groups in the run-up to the event.

But an alliance of protestors, named Another Europe is Possible, which is organising a march and carnival in the city centre, has rejected a claim that riots of Genoa in 2001 was planned for Dublin

Rory Hearne, convenor of the May Day march, said that “talk of riots and police being injured is unnecessary and is being hyped up out of all context and perspective”.

He said that protesters would be marching on May 1 to oppose “war and corporate greed, and holding a carnival at the Phoenix Park entrance to celebrate mulitculturalism”.

“While, Blair and Berlusconi are being wined and dined, their troops are involved in the bloody and unjustified occupation of Iraq. We are calling on [the Taoiseach] Ahern to stop the use of Shannon by US troops and to publically oppose any EU army. May Day is workers’ day and trade unionists and community campaigners fighting the sell off of their local authority estates will be joining in our march and carnival.”

Mr Hearne said it had been made “explicitly clear” that all protests tomorrow will be peaceful and that “hype by the state and government has failed to intimidate the protesters.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News