I arrived into O’Connell street just after 10am on the beautiful sunny 17th day of March. The streets were empty of a million souls that usually gather for this day of the celebration to be Irish. St. Patrick is our patron Saint and began the crusade of successfully converting the Irish nation to Catholicism in the early years of 400 AD. The city of Boston, in the USA was the first to celebrate St. Patrick in 1737 when a group of elite men declared it a day to be celebrated. The idea soon spread to Ireland where it was declared a day of holiday. Patrick was venerated as a saint in Ireland from the seventh century but he was never formally canonised. It wasn’t until the 1630s that the 17th March, the traditional day of his death, was added to the Catholic breviary (a book of prayers) as the Feast of St Patrick. The people of Ireland took on the feast of St. Patrick with pride. It was a day when everything Irish was recognised and honoured. For a nation that was poor and ravaged by various conquerors, they were a nation United in their faith and belief in God. They were a nation proud of their strength in their commitments and community. St. Patrick’s Day was their day to come together as a nation and honour each other.

I walked towards the GPO, my favourite place in Dublin City, it’s history having more prevalence in our current climate. I noticed that there were about thirty Garda getting into positions of protecting the public. There were no Barricades to which I was delighted to see. I thought to myself, ‘well maybe, the people of Ireland will be able to come out with their Ireland flags in celebration.’ After all, I had just witnessed a Socialist Feminist protest the previous day, Tuesday 16th March, that was protected by our Irish Garda. So I naturally assumed the same respect would be given to others. I looked around me as I walked and I observed plenty of Garda vehicles on both sides of O’Connell Street. They were scrupulous in their whiteness. There were a range of Garda jeeps and vans and I thought to myself, that the Dublin City Garda vehicles had certainly been updated to fancy new models. The Irish Garda squad was beginning to look more like scenes from ‘Chicago PD’, my favourite TV show from stateside. I spotted two huge Garda trucks, one coming from north O’Connel Street, and the other to the south of the street driving along the quays. At first I thought they were horse trucks as they had the little window boxes that the horses love to look out from. I soon realised that they were arrest units. I wondered at the Garda Commissioner’s aspirations as to whom they were hoping to arrest that day. I also spotted a Garda paramedic on a motorbike adjacent to the GPO. I was glad of that, because at a previous rally some weeks before in Grafton Street, innocent victims got injured from the violence that evolved from alleged plants. In my vision I could see I was immediately being approached by two young Garda who requested my name and details and the nature of my business, which I respectively gave. I informed the Garda that I am a freelance writer, which of course I am and that I wanted to report on the days events. They seemed happy enough and I was allowed to continue my stroll in the area. Shortly afterwards, I was approached again by a female Garda, and she asked the same questions, to which I replied respectfully also. This Garda however, said that she didn’t believe me, to which I respectively offered proof. She suggested that I wasn’t compliant and I had to ask her to explain. Basically She thought I was breaking the law under the health act and that I didn’t have a reasonable excuse, which of course I did have. Under the statutory Instrument 701, under paragraph 9b, in the production of media and to the publication to the public, I was within my rights to write and report on any event of my choosing. My details were taken and I was alerted to my rights, but I was again allowed to proceed on my stroll. A short distance away, I stopped to speak to a male GardaI. He started off with ‘the engage and explain’ tactics that the Garda are instructed to do, but he was a respectful man and didn’t try to undermine me, unlike the female Garda, O’Doherty, had previously. I opened up in conversation to this male Garda, my own reasons for declaring myself a writer of current events, in that the Main Stream Media were giving biased information and spreading fear to the nation. I suggested to him that there is no deadly pandemic and the emergency pandemic plan that is violating all of our human rights is based on fraudulent PCR tests. I explained that there was much evidence to show that This COVID, Corona virus is no more deadly than the flu itself. I could tell that this father of three believed that the COVID was real. I suggested the Government should have secured the vulnerable in said Virus, instead of shutting down the private business sector, the schools, churches, social and fitness activities and violating the nation’s human rights. I can only hope that this young father, after our conversation, will at least begin his own research. We parted ways. I saw a small group of people gathered at the Spire across from me and I heard a voice speaking from a megaphone. I couldn’t quite see or hear him, so I decided to go over to investigate. The lone young chap had his face covered but his words were passionate about the injustice surrounding the Irish people’s loss of freedoms. I was approaching to speak to him, when we were individually surrounded by eight Gardaí. For a third time within forty minutes, my name, details and information was requested once more. I again told the Garda respectively that I was a freelance writer and I was reporting on events there at the GPO and that I was also heading to Herbert Park to report on the Mental Health gathering that day. The Garda replied that he didn’t believe me and he then alerted me to my rights. It amazes me that somehow the definition of a criminal has changed in Ireland in less than a year. Private business owners like myself and my husband who have paid extremely high taxes in all of our working career, that funds the Public sector are now frowned upon by the Garda, for protesting the illegal shutdown of our company and the prevention of our ability to earn a living and pay our taxes. This of course gives us the ultimate independence of not relying on the state to fund us. It also means that while being independent of government welfare, we can assert our rights without fear of provisions being denied. One doesn’t have to be a whiz kid to figure out, social welfare recipients are compliant because they have no other way to feed their families or pay their bills. One wonders is that the plan of the Government, to push all the private sector onto a social welfare system, so that we will comply easily to whatever else they have planned for the Irish citizen. I went on to ask the Garda what was my crime, to which he ignored and repeated my rights again and he then informed me that if I didn’t move on that I would be arrested. I decided to make my way to Herbert Park and I bid him goodbye.

As I headed south of Dublin, apart from the overwhelming presence of Garda, I noticed a very sad empty City. I wondered at where it would all end. I came upon Herbert Park where young families were lounging on the grass with picnics. It was such a beautiful Day. I was looking for the Mental Health Gathering and there was no sign of them. It was close to 2pm as I walked into the park. I noticed the Garda in pairs wandering around. I decided to wait out on the street and it was quite comical to stand back and observe the many Garda cars patrolling up and down and on bikes on the look out for ‘The Far Right’. There were some people dressed in green and all locked eyes in an understanding of who they were and what they were there for. They were afraid to speak with each other for fear of arrests and fines. It was quite interesting to spot the many undercover detectives by their well turned out appearance, proper shoes and their fancy ear piece’s. They had all the elements of Rowan Atkinson in his movie ‘Johnny English’ with their serious stares and their ducking and diving. I wondered again at the Government’s motives as to the obvious presence of every Garda on the lookout for anyone objecting to the never ending lockdowns. What did the Government think? That people should just turn over and give up their human rights and freedoms? This does not seem to be at all Democratic. This has every sign of Marxism, where free speech is illegal. And on the 17th day of March, in Herbert Park, South Dublin, where the people had finally gathered through great difficulty and courage in unison and love to speak out about the ever growing suicides from mental health issues, I wondered again, What on Earth were the Gardaí doing there at all?

My conclusion of the days events are that something has changed within the headquarters of the Gardaí. There was once a time that the Gardaí were people that we could call when we were in trouble. They were our Guardians. But sadly, that is not the case anymore. There were a couple of thousand people in Herbert Park, from every group that began objecting to the unnecessary lockdowns last year. They were a peaceful assembly who hugged and laughed in the sunshine United together in honour and celebration on this momentous St. Patrick’s Day. It lasted a couple of hours, before the Garda began to swoop into the grounds to intimidate. Garda have policed and criminalised free speech. They openly resent the Irish people for not taking our destruction like our repressed ancestors did before us. They have completely gone against their oath in that they swore to protect the Irish Citizen’s Human Rights. There comes a time when one must look at oneself and ask oneself, ‘Did I live an honest life and with the best of my ability and my knowledge, did I do no harm to my fellow man. There is no excuse for ignorance these days. What is happening to the Irish people today is just History repeating itself. The Irish people and their Heritage is once more under attack. The educated task force that takes on the uniform with pride should revisit the Irish History books, before they proudly call themselves An Garda Síochána. Jean Murray xx

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