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Sit-down demonstration near Dáil
01 Jul 2015 22:10
Around 100 water charge demonstrators have staged a sit down protest outside Leinster House in Dublin city centre.
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A number of TDs and senators were blocked or delayed from entering or leaving Leinster House due to the protest.
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There was a large garda presence at the scene for a time, but Kildare Street has since reopened to traffic.
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Labour senators Mary Moran and Denis Landy had to abandon their cars on Kildare Street as the sit down protest continued.
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Mr Landy later described the protest as an affront to democracy and the right of parliament to function.
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A number of politicians from various political parties and groups were advised not to leave Leinster House this afternoon by car due to the protest.
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Gardaí also had to intervene to allow Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter to drive past the protesters.
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Members of the Garda Public Order Unit arrived after protesters blocked cars.
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After some scuffles, the car was able to drive in to the front car park of Leinster House.
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One man in his 30s was arrested this afternoon and charged with a public order offence.
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Another man was arrested later.
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One officer was treated for injuries believed to be a female garda hit by a flying bottle.
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Protesters claim that gardaí used batons on some of them after stopping two cars belonging to politicians from leaving Leinster House.
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More than 400 water charge protesters gathered outside Leinster House earlier today.
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They were part of the Non-Payment Network protesting about new provisions of the Environmental Bill being debated in the Dáil.
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The new provisions include landlords being required to say who their tenants are and that payment of water charges be part of tenancy agreements.
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The bill also provides that unpaid water charges can be attached to the sale of a house.
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Meanwhile, the Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privileges has requested that the Garda Commissioner go to Leinster House tomorrow in order to discuss concerns about guaranteeing access to the House.
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