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Gardai Criticised For Wearing Balaclavas During Housing Crisis Clashes


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Two people are due in court next month after five people were arrested during clashes in Dublin's north inner city over the housing crisis.

Scuffles broke out when a group of activists were forcibly evicted from a vacant house on North Frederick Street yesterday evening.

The Take Back the City group has been holding sit-ins to highlight the number of homes sitting empty during the housing crisis.

Eoin from the group says a number of people were injured.

"One person suffered concussion having been kicked in the head, another suffered shoulder injures after being pushed down the stairs while another had cuts on their arm and was bleeding", he said.

Gardai have been criticised for wearing balaclavas during yesterday evening's clashes.

Councillor Roderic O'Gorman, the Green Party's Justice Spokesperson, says he finds the images disturbing.

"I don't think it really meets the criteria of transparency and openness that we expect from policing", he said.

The Garda Press Office has confirmed the balaclava is made of the same fire retardant material as the rest of their uniform and is a worn for Health and Safety reasons.

They deny the balaclava is an attempt to conceal the identity of their members and confirmed their ID number is visible if they need to be identified.

They also said they were not involved in evicting people from the property and only dealt with the ensuing disturbance on the street.


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