A customer at Tony Blair's book signing in Dublin yesterday (4 September) attempted to arrest him for war crimes. Kate O'Sullivan told the UK's former Prime Minister that she was making a citizen's arrest over his role in the invasion of Iraq.
O'Sullivan, 24, who lives in Cork, was then forcibly removed from the room. She is reported to have been detained by police for twenty minutes before being removed from Eason's bookshop in Dublin's O'Connell Street.
This is thought to be the third attempt to make a citizen's arrest of Tony Blair since he left office in 2007.
"I queued up and went in," explained O'Sullivan, "We were given a copy of the book and we paid for it. We went through a metal detector and were led up to the third floor. We were brought in four at a time.”
She said 'Mr Blair, I'm here to make a citizen's arrest for the war crimes that you've committed'. She says that Blair looked taken aback and that she was then dragged away by five security personnel.
Around 200 people protested against Tony Blair as he signed his book, A Journey, which was released last week. The majority of the protesters were peaceful, although a minority were supporters of the Continuity IRA. Eggs and shoes were thrown but did not hit Blair. The police arrested four people.
As UK Prime Minister in 2003, Tony Blair launched an invasion of Iraq along with US President George Bush.
Their critics say that they broke international law because no approval was given by the United Nations and claims that the Iraqi regime owned weapons of mass destruction were found to be inaccurate. Blair's criticisms of the oppressive nature of the Iraqi regime were undermined by his friendship with other dictatorships, notably the government of Saudi Arabia.
In July, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg described the invasion of Iraq as “illegal” while standing in for David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions. He later said that he was expressing a “personal” view rather than a government opinion, although the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, appeared to be nodding as he spoke.
Further protests are expected on Wednesday (8 September), when Blair will sign copies of his book at Waterstone's bookshop in Piccadilly, London.