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behind the wheel

Man arrested after driving truck into gates of Russian embassy in Ireland

An Irish man has been arrested after driving a truck through the gates of the country's Russian embassy on Monday, The Irish Times reports. The embassy also accused Irish law enforcement — known as the Garda — of standing by.

The driver, Desmond Wisley, has been arrested for criminal damage and is currently in custody. There were no injuries.

"The incident took place in the presence of Garda officers, who stood idle," said a Russian embassy spokesperson in response. "The embassy strongly condemns this criminal act of insanity directed against a peaceful diplomatic mission. The embassy views this incident as a clear and blatant violation of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961."

"The incident is cause of extreme concern," the spokesperson continued, noting the embassy is in contact with Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs. 

Videos show the truck "reversing into the gates and forcing them open as a number of protesters looked on," writes the Irish Times

Wisley is then said to have exited the truck and "handed out photos of what he said were Russian atrocities in Ukraine," adds the Irish Times.

"I just done this to create a safe corridor for the Russian ambassador to leave Ireland," Wisley said. "I want the ambassador and his colleagues to leave this country, leave this free country."

As he was taken away by authorities, he added, "I've done my bit, lads. It's about time the rest of Ireland done their bit." 

Monday's events are just the latest in demonstrations outside Ireland's Russian embassy — for example, protesters have repeatedly thrown red paint on the building's entrance, while the exterior has been vandalized with graffiti saying "Nazis" and "Blood on your hands," per the Irish Times.