Gardaí have said they will have a significant policing operation in place to deal with planned protests in Dublin city tomorrow.

More than 2,500 members from regular and specialist units, including air support, the dog, mounted and public order units, will be on duty at key locations, as well as checkpoints nationwide.

Gardaí have said that multiple protest events are being planned on social media by disparate groups in different locations, including at the GPO and RTÉ, which they say will require significant resources.

They have asked people to stay at home tomorrow and not to organise large gatherings and house parties.

More than 2,000 people have already been fined for organising or attending a house party and gardaí say any policing action will be part of a graduated response to evolving events.

Gardaí say the policing operation for St Patrick's Day aims to prevent a recurrence of the violent scenes in Dublin city centre on 27 February, which resulted in three members being injured and the arrest of 24 people who are currently before the courts.

Checkpoints will be placed on arterial routes into the city focusing on non-essential travel and those more than 5km from home.

There will also be high visibility patrols at public amenities and checks on public transport.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences


Latest coronavirus stories


Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has also asked people not to attend demonstrations or gatherings and said if they do they are going against public health advice and guidance.

Gardaí say any policing action will be part of a graduated response to an evolving situation where they will seek to engage and encourage before resorting to enforcement.

They say they will seek to engage with protest groups in advance, but some have chosen not to engage with them.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said: "While it won't be a normal St Patrick’s Day, we can still all enjoy the day safely at home.

"Staying home this St Patrick’s Day is the best thing people can do for their country and the best thing they can do for the people they know and love."

As of 12 March, more than 2,100 people have been penalised for organising or attending house parties across the country, with 459 people fined €500 for organising a party, while 1,677 have been fined €150 for attending one.

The Government is also asking people not to assemble in large groups and to stay at home to protect public health.

In a statement this afternoon, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: "It is very important that people do not congregate or meet up for social gatherings in their homes or anywhere else.

"To do so would be to undermine all of the sacrifices we have made to date.

"Lá Fhéile Pádraig is the day when the world honours the Irish people.

"There can be no better way to honour our people in 2021 than to stay focused and avoid another wave of infection with this terrible virus."