200 people take part in emergency protest in solidarity with the MV Saoirse and Tahrir

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Tonight around 200 people took part in an emergency protest, supported by the Irish Anti War Movement & Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign in solidarity with the MV Saoirse and Tahrir intercepted by the Israeli navy 48 miles from Gaza.

Speakers at the protest included Raymond Deane, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, ULA TDs Richard Boyd Barrett & Joe Higgins, Sinn Fein TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Claudia Saba, Irish Ship to Gaza, Labour TD Patrick Nulty and a representative from SIPTU.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD called on the Irish government to intervene immediately and to demand the safety of passengers aboard the MV Saoirse and an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza. People Before Profit/United Left Councillor Hugh Lewis from Ballybrack in Dublin is one of a number of activists on board the MV Saoirse.

Speaking at the protest he said: "The plight of the ordinary innocent people living in Gaza is becoming more and more difficult every day as a result of the Israeli blockade. Even the UN agency responsible for food aid has said the situation is rapidly becoming an emergency. It is not a publicity stunt to respond to this".

"The international community is ignoring the situation and the Irish government need to get off the fence on this issue."