Gardaí were forced to intervene as hundreds of people gathered in Cork’s city centre on Saturday afternoon for two separate demonstrations, which led to minor altercations between the two groups.
According to the Irish Examiner, people gathered at the National Monument on the Grand Parade at 12pm for an anti-racism demonstration, while a smaller group of anti-migrant protesters assembled nearby.
Around 700 people are estimated to have attended both events.
The Cork Says No to Racism group carried banners calling for an end to Direct Provision and welcoming refugees to the city.
Attendees described the atmosphere at the gathering as “friendly” and “welcoming” with musicians and entertainers performing for the crowd.
The anti-migrant group gathered outside the City Library, carrying banners with slogans saying “Cork Says No” and “House the Irish, not the World”.
The demonstration included speakers from the ‘East Wall Says No’ group in Dublin as well as several people carrying flags and banners on behalf of the right-wing National Party.
The Examiner reports that just before 1pm a number of people from the anti-migrant group broke off from the rest and went to confront members of the larger, anti-racism group.
Gardaí intervened and were able to separate the two groups and both sets of protesters continued with their demonstrations.
No arrests were made, gardai said.