Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says Government’s suggestion that riots were unexpected is ‘disingenuous’

Pringle says Government’s suggestion that riots were unexpected is ‘disingenuous’

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, called Government’s suggestions that last Thursday’s riots in Dublin were unexpected “disingenuous”, citing increasing tensions among far-right groups and decades of neglect of communities.

Addressing the Dáil on Tuesday evening, Deputy Pringle condemned the riot and said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen far-right demonstrations at libraries, East Wall, a violent attack on the makeshift refugee camp on Sandwith Street and the protest outside the Dáil in September. It is disingenuous for the government to suggest that the riot was unexpected, following decades of neglect in communities around the country and months of increasing tensions among far-right groups.

“The gardaí should have moved on far-right groups earlier. They’ve had many opportunities to do so. And indeed, staff were evacuated from Agriculture House before 5 o’clock last Thursday, but yet reinforcements were not summoned by the gardaí until after 7,” he said.

The deputy was speaking during Statements on Policing, Protests and Public Order.

Deputy Pringle said: “But facial recognition technology is not the answer either, I believe, despite the Minister’s insistence that it is. I would like to echo the Irish Network Against Racism’s concern at Government promotion of authoritarian measures like facial recognition technology as an answer to far-right disturbances and hate crime. FRT is not the answer and such measures actually have worse outcomes on minorities.

“I would also like to highlight the fact that, although certain communities and people with certain backgrounds have experienced the brunt of the blame and backlash for Thursday, those who were charged were from all over the country. This is a nationwide issue, and it should be treated as such. A look at the court record will tell you that,” he said.