Garda assaulted and male arrested at Columb Barracks last night

A garda was assaulted and a male protestor arrested in two separate incidents at the gates of Columb Barracks last night.

The officer was reportedly assaulted around 9pm after gardaí asked a crowd of protestors blocking the gates to disperse to allow staff to enter. The assaulted garda did not require medical assistance.

Shortly after midnight a male in his 20s was arrested for public order offences. He has since been released and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

Earlier in the day protestors prevented a bus carrying international protection applicants from entering the barracks by blocking the gates.

An earlier bus carrying a group of IP applicants managed to enter the site without incident.

Yesterday evening, the government department tasked with housing asylum seekers says that it "strongly condemns any attempts to promote division and hostility".

When contacted by the Westmeath Examiner, the Garda Press Office issued this statement:

A number of Garda units attended the scene of a demonstration at a location in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath yesterday evening, Friday, 24th March 2023 and into the early hours of this morning.

On Friday evening, at approximately 9pm, a number of protestors blocked an entrance to the premises. Gardaí requested the crowd to disperse to allow for staff to enter the property.

A male Garda was assaulted during this time. The Garda did not require medical treatment.

A man in his 20s was arrested for public order offences shortly after mid-night. He has since been released. A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The crowd later dispersed from the scene after 1.30am.