September 5, 2010 in Nation/World

Blair draws angry crowd in Ireland

John Heaney Associated Press
 

DUBLIN, Ireland – Protesters hurled shoes and eggs Saturday at Tony Blair who held the first public signing of his memoir amid high security in Ireland’s capital. Hundreds more people lined up to have their books autographed – evidence that the divisions left by Blair’s decade as British leader have yet to heal.

Blair’s new book, “A Journey,” is a best-seller, but it has angered opponents of his policies, especially the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

About 200 demonstrators chanted that Blair had “blood on his hands” as the former prime minister arrived at a Dublin bookstore. Shoes, eggs and other projectiles were thrown toward Blair as he emerged from a car, but did not hit him. A flip-flop could be seen lying on the roof of a BMW in Blair’s motorcade.

Security was tight, with book buyers – who appeared to outnumber the protesters by about two to one – told to hand over bags and mobile phones before entering Eason’s bookstore.

Police said four men were arrested and charged with public order offenses.

Blair spent about two hours in the store before emerging to more shouts, boos and hurled eggs. He was quickly driven away, as a police helicopter circled overhead.

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