29/09/2010

Cement Truck Rams Leinster House

A man has been arrested after a bizarre incident that saw a cement truck ram the gates of Leinster House.

The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning, when the truck emblazoned with the words "Toxic Bank Anglo " sped towards the front gates to the home of the Oireachtas.

The driver then escaped through a hatch on the roof before being arrested at about 7.15am.

Gardaí said this morning that the truck has now been removed from the front gates of Leinster House and that a 41-year-old male remains in custody.

A Gardaí spokesman said some damage was done to the front gates and that brake lines and electric cables had been cut during attempts to reverse the truck from the gates by recovery crews.

Kildare Street has now reopened to traffic but Molesworth Street remains closed.

It is believed that in April of this year, a similar stunt was attempted when a cement mixer truck, with similar wording on it, was abandoned outside a branch of the bank on Forster Street, Galway. The cabin was locked and the engine left running.

Today's incident is believed to be related to today's European Day of Action, which is ongoing throughout the continent.
News Image
Some 14 major strikes and disruptions are expected to take place according to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

A spokesman for the ETUC said that some 100,000 people are to take to the streets of Brussels today and thousands of others will do the same in many other cities across Europe to combat proposed austerity measures.

The more significant protests taking place across Europe include a general strike in Spain, demonstrations in Italy, France, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Cyprus, Serbia, Poland , Finland and Ireland.

Demonstrations have already been held in for the Day of Action in Bucharest and Prague, where they brought together more than 20,000 and 40,000 people respectively.

John Monks, General Secretary of the ETUC said: "Workers are on the streets today with a clear message to Europe’s leaders: there is still time not to choose austerity, still time to change direction. Austerity measures are still in the decision-making stage but their implementation will have a disastrous impact on individuals and on the economy once the effects start being felt, which could be as early as this winter."

Meanwhile, the male arrested this morning by Gardaí is currently detained at Pearse Street Garda Station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. No one was injured in the incident.

(DW/BMcC)

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