NEWS
05/26/2016 14:09 EDT | Updated 05/27/2017 01:12 EDT

Irish protester tackled by Ambassador Kevin Vickers talks to The Canadian Press

Some quotes from Irish protester Brian Murphy, who spoke to The Canadian Press on Thursday evening after being tackled by Canada's ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers, at a Dublin centenary ceremony to remember British soldiers killed in the 1916 Easter Rising:

"As the ceremony began I basically unbuttoned my shirt to show the T-shirt (about imprisoned republican supporters) and I stood up and walked to the area in front of the people who were seated. I shouted a couple of slogans ... that the event was an insult to those who had fought for Irish freedom and the fact there are currently republicans — people who hold the same views as those people in 1916 — who are currently in prison and that there are innocent people in prison. At that stage I think he got to me, so that was that."

———

"I didn't know who he was, to be honest, but I suppose, look, my expectation in doing a peaceful protest at the event and making my views known enough was, look, the minute I did interrupt the proceedings I would be tackled by the police that were in attendance and I would be marched away from the event. So I was expecting to be subdued in some way. I was making a protest, I expected to be taken away, not allowed to continue, or whatever."

———

"I can't tell what he thought was happening. Put it this way, it wasn't my intention (but) the way things played out, you know, things are grand. The Irish police was straight there on top of me and sort of walked me away. I certainly wasn't going to be offering any resistance to anybody there. I was basically outnumbered 200 to one."

———

"As to whether it's his place (to intervene), I suppose only he can answer that .... Maybe he had a different perception of what was happening or what my intentions were. ... but I would hope that the ambassador maybe take some time to read about the reasons why I was making a protest there."

———

"To be clear, I didn't use any abusive or foul language. I wasn't personally abusive to anybody. The minute police put their hands on me I offered no resistance. I'll certainly fight the charges. I was there by invite, as myself. I didn't pretend to be somebody else."