Kicks and punches fly in riot at college
Angry protesters break through the security cordon at University College Cork, last night where David Irving was scheduled to speak.
Picture [follows]: Dan Linehan
by Dan Collins
GARDAÍ baton-charged anti-fascist protesters in the corridors of University College Cork last night during a protest by 600 people who prevented a lecture by British revisionist historian David Irving.
Tuesday, November 16, 1999
One man was arrested for incitement to riot after 50 members of the gardaí had been called as reinforcements for the UCC security staff when protesters chanting nazi, nazi, nazi, out, out, out broke through the main doorway of the science building, spilling through the corridors leading to the lecture theatre where Irving was due to take part in a philosophical society debate.
The protest reached fever-pitch at about 7.30pm when people carrying placards and shouting anti-fascist slogans forced their way through the main doors of the science building.
From there, a small militant group stormed the doors on the hallway leading to the lecture theatre. In the melee, people fell to the floor as security staff and baton-wielding gardai struggled to keep them back. The rear stairwell to the science building was also over-run with protesters, making access to the building almost impossible. At one stage a group of incensed men and women chanting Gardaí-RUC occupied the floor above the lecture theatre. From there, they rushed the gardai and security staff at the bottom of the stairs. Kicks and punches were thrown and a vicious struggle ensued for almost 10 minutes before the riot was quelled.
Ticket holders who had taken their seats in the theatre sat in shocked silence as doors were barricaded from the inside with the threat that protesters would break through. Shortly before 8pm, Stephen Vaughan, auditor, philosophical society announced that gardaí had ordered the cancellation of the lecture.
The society, he said, would make no attempt this year to reschedule the Irving debate. Among the protesters were people carrying Ógra Sinn Féin, Socialist Party, Workers' Party, Sinn Féin and Anti-Nazi organisation posters.
Cork Workers' Party chairman Tod Tynan said: "Mr Irving's philosophy goes far beyond what could be considered a reasoned contribution to political debate. It is incitement to hatred of Jews, black people and other races."