Anti-Lockdown Protests, Dublin. 2020 - 2021
Ireland's first lockdown went into effect in March 2020 and save for a few periods of easing of restrictions, over one year later the country remains at Level 5 status. The Irish governments efforts to aim for zero-COVID, while praised by many foreign leaders, has been criticised here by some for it's severity, impact to the economy due to closure of businesses and to it's potential effect on the mental health of the population. Despite compliance by most there have been a number of illegal (attendances in excess of permitted gatherings; failure to social distance or use masks; breach of travel radius) anti-lockdown protests occurring in the capital, the largest attracting an estimated 2,000 who marched through the city on Sept 12th 2020. Groups of a far-right / nationalistic persuasion such as Yellow Vests Ireland are behind these, taking advantage of public discontent with government handling of the pandemic to leverage a larger base. Clashes with counter-protestors (Antifa) and police have occurred resulting in numbers of arrests and convictions.