25 February 2006

Officers injured in Dublin riot


Irish police clash with protesters in Dublin

Several police officers and a journalist have been hurt during a republican riot in Dublin.

Disturbances broke out in O'Connell Street in the city centre, where a unionist rally to remember the victims of republican violence was to start.

Stones and fireworks were thrown after republican demonstrators mounted a counter-march. The loyalist rally was cancelled as a result of the trouble.

A number of protesters were also injured during the clashes.

The demonstrators said they would "not allow a loyalist march to pass".

Republicans have been throwing missiles at police in riot gear.

It is understood the counter-march was organised by Republican Sinn Fein - a political party which broke away from Sinn Fein in the 1980s.

Sinn Fein have maintained they are in no way involved in the violence.

Up to 1,000 people had been expected to take part in the Love Ulster rally to remember those affected by republican violence.

DUP and Ulster Unionist politicians were among those who had hoped to parade through the centre of the city, in a march organised by the victims group Fair.

A delegation was to meet the Republic's Justice Minister, Michael McDowell after the march.

Earlier this week, the Republic's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dermot Ahern, said the government had hoped the parade would pass off peacefully.

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