• February 17, 2015


Allegations made in the Dail earlier today suggest that children between the ages of 14 – 17 were arrested in early morning raids by An Garda Síochána in the west Tallaght area of Dublin.
The arrests were related to anti-austerity protests in the area in November 2014.

The Irish government have since attempted to deflect attention from the seriousness of the allegations by making an issue of the idiomatic use of language by the TD who raised the issue.

The Deputy Ruth Coppinger had accused the government of ‘calling out the dogs’ which was swiftly construed by Fine Gael members as calling ‘gardaí’ dogs when clearly that was not the context in which the phrase was used.

Arrests of children in the way alleged are not only inappropriate but they are a clear breach of the UN ‘Beijing Rules’ (the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice).

The Celtic League has urged the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to raise the issue with the Irish government.

The text of a letter to the CRC is set out below:
“The Secretariat

Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)

12th February 2015

Dear Sir,

I draw your attention to an issue raised by a TD in the Dail (Irish Parliament) earlier today relating to arrests by Irish Police carried out in the early hours of this morning in the west Tallaght area of Dublin.

The Deputy who raised the issue referred to the fact that those arrested included a number of children ranging from 14 – 17 years of age.

The arrests I understand were not in connection with serious crime but rather related to protests in that area last year about austerity measures introduced by the Irish government.

I understand (from a news report today) that in the case of the 14 year old child 8 police officers in three vehicles were deployed to affect the arrest. In other instances where adults were arrested (again in the early hours of the morning) there was disruption to households containing children.

The use of the police in such a manner against children and in pursuance of issues related to civil protest is reprehensible I trust that the Committee on the Rights of the Child will raise this issue as a matter of urgency with the Irish government.

It is alleged by the Celtic League that in the operation carried out by the Irish Police (An Garda Síochána) there were innumerable and clear breaches of United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (“The Beijing Rules”).

The League trusts therefore that the CRC will conduct a full inquiry into this issue.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League”

A link to a report in the Irish Times (with video) of Ruth Coppinger, TD, raising the issue can be found here:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:



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