NO ONE WAS SAFE: An elderly lady gets a helping hand through the garda
lines during the rioting on Dublin's Nassau Street last Saturday
afternoon. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sunday March 5th 2006
CALLS for violence in Dublin in order to stop last weekend's Northern
Protestant marchers were on an extreme republican website as early as
last December, it can be revealed.
The prime suspects behind the violent response to the march began
contacting each other over a website run by the 32-County Sovereignty
Committee (32-CSC) the 'political' group linked to the 'Real' IRA
(responsible for the Omagh bombing in 1998).
The website is already under investigation by British police following
a complaint by Victor Barker, whose son, James, was one of the Omagh
victims. Mr Barker's complaint that the website contained inflammatory
material and calls for people to be shot is under investigation by
Gardai now accept that while Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) bore the public
blame for organising a counter-demonstration against the Protestant
marchers, blame for the actual rioting lies with a group of violent
young 'republicans' who split from RSF last year.
The break-away group has been attracting dozens of teenagers in Dublin
and the North and they congregate under the guise of Celtic fans. The
same group was responsible for rioting in north Belfast last year (Sinn
Fein tried to stop the trouble) and for a mini riot in Dublin's
Marlborough Street two years ago when they vandalised cars and broke
The dissidents' preparations for last weekend's rally in Dublin began
at the end of last year within weeks of the announcement by FAIR
(Families Acting for Innocent Relatives) that it intended marching in
Dublin to highlight the plight of relatives of Protestants killed by
One of the first messages calling for violence, on the 32-CSC website,
appeared on December 12 last. It read: "If this happings [sic] which
would be in its own way. Every street in Dublin should be bombed on the
route. These people are the enemy to our nation. We are fighting to get
them out. Not further in."
Other people made further comments and quite quickly began networking
via password-protected internet forums on which, it is understood, they
exchanged ideas and their mobile numbers.
Further messages appeared, like: "We cannot let these people win. That
says it all!"; " 'Love Ulster' is a 'hate Dublin' statement' "; and
"These OO [Orange Order] boys take their orders from London. They are
trying to pave the way for a visit by the Queen."
Gardai believe that some of the young men operating on the site - which
is controlled by a republican extremist in Glasgow - are connected with
Celtic supporters' groups in Dublin and the North.
Aside from young republicans, gardai believe the riot preparations also
involved young men associated with extreme left-wing and
'anti-globalisation' groups, men nvolved in previous violent
demonstrations in the city - including the 'Reclaim the Streets' march
in May 2002.
Again, members of these 'anti-globalisation' groups were present taking
video footage of the riots, and when the Progressive Democrats'
headquarters was attacked.
However gardai believe that, while many of these leftist groups were
present, the bulk of the violence came from the republican rioters.
Last week, people visiting the 32-CSC site in the aftermath of the riot
were jubilant about what had happened.
Messages read: "Good for the Youth. I hold the view that would the
public in England agree to the BNP and or NF march past Stephen
Laurence memorial plaque. How would the public respond, would the local
council even contemplate such a suggestion. I think not, and it was for
the same reasons people felt that the UDA, BNP back fascist were not
permitted to march past the GPO."
Another referred to the "successful prevention of racists orange pigs
spewing their vomit in front of the GPO".
Yet another said: "OO/KKK [Ku Klux Klan] one and the same; same people
- different target of their hatred.The KKK has burned over 12 black
baptist churches in the States in 2006, and it is still February."
Others stated: "Up The Youth of Dublin"; and "Heroes of Dublin I salute
You."However, contributors to the 'alternative media' site, Indymedia,
last week seemed genuinely shocked at the violence. Ironically, several
complained about the lack of garda manpower on the day.
Below, the Sunday Independent can reveal some of the garda statistics:
* Only 66 members of the Public Order Unit, in riot gear, were deployed
on Saturday despite the gardai having over 1,000 members trained
* Those 66 Public Order officers were split into three units of 22 and
they came under severe pressure throughout.
* From noon onwards last Saturday over 1,000 rioters were on the
streets of Dublin.
* As order broke down in Dublin, garda managers sent out calls at 1pm
to Drogheda, Naas and Portlaoise for extra resources as none was
available in the city.
* Only gardai from Louth-Meath arrived while violence was still
* Twenty-one gardai were injured, some seriously.
* The Garda Representative Association (GRA) president, Dermot
O'Donnell, yesterday said the Association has asked the Health and
Safety Authority for an independent inquiry into garda management of
events as they claimed the failure to respond in sufficient numbers
endangered the lives of gardai on duty.