Riot police had to intervene with a rally arranged by a community in Ireland which aimed to remove an alleged paedophile from the area.
65-year-old Gerard O’Neill, with an address at Deerpark Road, Kiltipper, Tallaght, was charged on June 12 for allegedly distributing and possessing child pornography. He is currently awaiting trial.
Residents gathered around O’Neill’s home, yelling ‘What do we want? Paedos out! When do we want it? Now!’ on Sunday evening (24 June).
You can watch footage from the rally here:
Police with riot gear can be seen standing between the property and the crowd with an officer telling them towards the end of the footage ‘He has gone now, that’s what you wanted, he has gone now’.
The group applaud and cheer as O’Neill is escorted away by police officers.
A resident who took part in the rally and wishes to remain anonymous described the scene to UNILAD.
The police were there to protect him from attack. He was seen entering his premises by a neighbour so a rally was arranged by the residents to get him removed out of the area by police as soon as possible.
We think they sent the riot police as a form of protection for him. It was very heated and a few lads started shouting out and throwing bottles but residents stopped anything before it got out of hand.
There was about 100 people and the atmosphere was very tense. When the riot police arrived it calmed down as soon as they removed him.
The people just wanted him taken away without too much trouble.
As reported by Echo.ie, O’Neill was charged before Judge Patricia McNamara in Tallaght District Court with ‘knowingly distributing and possessing child pornography from his home address on dates between April 15, 2015 and May 13, 2015’.
He is due to appear at a trial in Dublin’s Circuit Court in the future.
UNILAD contacted An Garda Siochána for comment, which they declined stating:
An Garda Siochána does not comment on or discuss speculation about the activities of such groups operating in this jurisdiction. It is An Garda Síochána’s primary role to investigate crime and enforce enacted legislation.
An Garda Síochána would urge anyone with information relating to the potential sexual exploitation of children to report it immediately to An Garda Síochána where it will be investigated by professional investigators.
To report a crime you should ring your local Garda Station. In the case of emergency ring 999.
To report an incident in confidence ring the Garda Confidential Telephone Number 1800 666 111.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.