The Minister for Justice has described the gathering of hundreds of people in Dublin yesterday to protest against COVID-19 restrictions as "a really serious incident" that "should not have happened".
Helen McEntee commended the Gardaí for how they handled the protests after three officers were hospitalised.
More than 20 people were arrested in total yesterday in connection with the protest which allegedly turned violent.
Several people have been fined and released, and a number of juveniles have also been released.
13 people appeared before the Dublin District Court last night in connection with the anti-lockdown protest in the city centre.
They were all charged with various public order offences, including threatening or abusive words or behaviour, failing to comply with a direction from Gardaí, resisting arrest and failing to provide the correct name and address to officers.
Speaking to Newstalk, Minister McEntee said she was "extremely frustrated and annoyed by what happened yesterday".
"This was a very serious incident and you had quite a large group of people who set out to cause disruption and to cause harm," she stated.
"Gardaí were verbally abused, had things thrown at them, fireworks directed into them, these were not people who were there to peacefully protest and unfortunately, what they have used is the banner of COVID measures or people's frustration.
"We're all frustrated, we're a year now living with COVID, but people used that yesterday as an excuse for bad behaviour and it's simply not acceptable."
She added: "There is no excuse, under the heading or banner of COVID-19 and using people's frustration, for bad behaviour and that's exactly what happened yesterday.
"A lot of people are very frustrated given the last year we've had where people stayed at home, their lives and their livelihoods have been put on hold and to see this, it really is an insult to the huge amount of work that has been done by so many people."
Main image: Members of An Garda Siochana and anti-lockdown protesters at St Stephen's Green yesterday. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie