Gardaí are to erect barriers outside the Russian embassy after a ramming incident at the gates sparked a diplomatic row between Russia and Ireland.
A truck, which belongs to a company providing religious products, was deliberately reversed through the metal gates at the entrance to the embassy grounds at lunchtime on Monday.
The driver was arrested at the scene by the sole garda stationed nearby at the time.
In a video captured on a phone, the driver told the garda and the small group of protestors there he was doing it for a woman and her children who were killed in Ukraine on Sunday.
Security sources said the incident marked an “escalation” in the threat against the Russian embassy.
In a statement, the Russian embassy has alleged that garda officers “stood idle” as the large truck reversed into and through the metal gates.
The embassy said it had written to the Department of Foreign Affairs informing it that the act is a “blatant violation” of international law on the sanctity of diplomatic missions and “demanded” that the Irish state ensure the safety of its staff and their families.
The driver is being questioned on suspicion of criminal damage.
A high-level security review has been established and a fresh risk assessment conducted, security sources told the Irish Examiner.
That has already led to a decision to place barriers at the entrance, to prevent any such reoccurrence.
While no one was injured in the incident, the actual breaching of the embassy is seen as a major issue both for both gardaí and government.
“The fact the embassy was breached has to be taken very seriously, there’s no doubt about that,” said a senior security source.
“That will be seen as an escalation in the threat against the Russian embassy.”
A review is being conducted by district and divisional commanders and an updated risk assessment conducted.
Intelligence will be gathered and the Garda National Criminal and Security Intelligence Service is expected to provide its assessment.
A single garda was present at the time, parked up nearby. The garda presence is determined by the risk assessment, sources said.
A Garda statement said: “Gardaí are investigating an incident of criminal damage that occurred at a property on Orwell Road this afternoon, Monday 7 March 2022 at approximately 1.30pm.
“One male was arrested and taken to Rathfarnham Garda Station where he is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.” The suspect can be held for a maximum of 24 hours, excluding sleep breaks.
In a statement, the Russia embassy said: On March 7, 2022, 13:30pm, a large truck came over to the gates of the embassy, pulled back and torn down the gates of the Embassy.
“The incident took place in the presence of Garda officers, who stood idle.” It said: “The embassy strongly condemns this criminal act of insanity directed against a peaceful diplomatic mission.” It said the embassy viewed the incident “as a clear and blatant violation” of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961.
The convention states that the premises of a diplomatic mission “shall be inviolable”.
It states: “The receiving state is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.”
The Embassy statement said it is in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs, “demanding that the Irish authorities take comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of its staff and their family members”.