[Partridge: Couple of tings, 'unionism' in this case has zero to do with Trade Unionism, it's about the union of Northern Ireland & Britain. Republican of course is nothing to do with US Republicans - though some of these guys are so reactionary catholic that they'd probably fit right in with Jeb Bush. Personally, I think this riot was stupid and juvenile. Let the fuckers march - what are you afraid of?]

Officers injured in Dublin riot

Several police officers and a journalist have been hurt during a republican riot in Dublin.
Disturbances broke out in O'Connell Street in the city centre, where a unionist rally to remember the victims of republican violence was to start.

Stones and fireworks were thrown after republican demonstrators mounted a counter-march. The loyalist rally was cancelled as a result of the trouble.

Several cars were set on fire and police urged people to avoid the area.

A number of protesters were also injured during the clashes.

The demonstrators said they would "not allow a loyalist march to pass".

Republicans threw missiles at police in riot gear.

It is understood the counter-march was organised by Republican Sinn Fein - a political party which broke away from Sinn Fein in the 1980s.

Sinn Fein maintained they were in no way involved in the violence.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said the unionists should have enjoyed the freedom to demonstrate their views.

"There is absolutely no excuse for the disgraceful scenes in Dublin," he said.

"It is the essence of Irish democracy and republicanism that people are allowed to express their views freely and in a peaceful manner.

"People who wantonly attack gardai (police) and property have no respect for their fellow citizens."

Up to 1,000 people had been expected to take part in the Love Ulster rally to remember those affected by republican violence.

DUP and Ulster Unionist politicians were among those who had hoped to parade through the centre of the city, in a march organised by the victims group Fair.

A delegation was to meet the Republic's Justice Minister, Michael McDowell after the march.

Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South West, Sean Crowe, said the rioting had been "disgraceful", but added the loyalist rally had been "provocative".

"There is absolutely no justification for the disgraceful scenes which occurred in the city centre."

The SDLP's Alban Maginness strongly condemned the republican rioters.

"It is disturbing that marchers have been prevented from peaceful demonstration," he said.

"This action of extreme republicans simply plays into hands of those of the unionist right who cannot conceive unionist rights being upheld in a new Ireland."