Dublin riot: ‘Huge destruction’ after school stabbing leads to 34 arrests

38 minutes ago
About sharing

Watch: Double-decker bus engulfed in flames in Dublin violence

Rioting in Dublin in the aftermath of a stabbing outside a school caused “huge destruction” and led to 34 arrests, Ireland’s police chief has said.

Violence flared on Thursday after three children and a teacher were injured in a knife attack in the city centre.

The head of An Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) Drew Harris said 11 police vehicles and 13 shops were badly damaged during the clashes.

Several of his officers were injured in the riot, with one seriously hurt.

Three buses and a tram were also destroyed during more than three hours of sustained rioting.

Public order policing units from all over the Republic of Ireland were called in to support officers in the city.

Irish police chief Drew Harris condemns the scenes of violence in Dublin city centre

But under questioning from reporters, Mr Harris denied that his force had failed to protect Dubliners and their city from the violence.

“We could not have anticipated that in response to a terrible crime – the stabbing of school children and their teacher – that this would be the response,” he said.

“Those filled with hate, and the hate directed towards members of An Garda Síochána, that they would attempt to storm through a cordon and disrupt a crime scene and then engage in violence, looting and disorder.”

The knife attack took place outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, a primary school in the city centre, after 13:40 local time on Thursday.

A five-year-old girl is in a critical condition; a six-year-old girl sustained head injuries and the woman is seriously ill, according to Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

A boy aged five has minor wounds and has been discharged from hospital.

A man in his 40s who was also seriously injured is a person of interest, police said.

Police added that they were not looking for anyone else at this time and were following a definite line of inquiry.

A bus and car on fire on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre after violent scenes

Sources have indicated to the BBC that the man suspected of carrying out the attack is an Irish citizen, who has lived in the country for 20 years.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday night Mr Harris said: “We know what happened, but the motive for this is entirely unclear.”

Riot police were deployed after disorder broke out in the city centre, near the scene of the attack, including O’Connell Street which is one of Dublin’s main shopping streets.

Mr Harris blamed the rioting on a “lunatic, hooligan faction driven by a far-right ideology”, who engaged in violence as police tried to protect the scene of the stabbing for investigation.

In respect of the critically injured girl, Mr Harris said: “The child herself and also her family are going through a terrible ordeal.”

Quiet has fallen over the city but the violence went on into the early hours.

As somebody who lives in Dublin, I’ve never seen anything like this.

People are genuinely on edge, businesses are closed today and buses and the Luas tram aren’t running fully.

I don’t think Dublin has had a night like this in decades.

In a statement issued late on Thursday night, Ch Supt Patrick McMenamin said that “the significant levels of public disorder, criminal damage and violence was carried out by violent individuals in Dublin city centre”.

He said Thursday night’s rioting was unrelated to the earlier knife attack.

“It was gratuitous thuggery,” he added.

No serious injuries were reported by the public but some police officers were assaulted, he said. None are believed to have been badly hurt.

While the rioting calmed down towards midnight, more than 400 officers remained on patrol in Dublin city centre overnight.

Police cars and buses were among the vehicles vandalised

Irish President Michael D Higgins condemned the attack and the subsequent disorder, which he said “deserves condemnation by all those who believe in the rule of law and democracy”.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, an eyewitness told Irish national broadcaster RTÉ how she and another bystander disarmed a man with a knife.

Siobhan Kearney described the scene as “absolutely bedlam”.

It is understood that a group of young children were lining up outside their school when a man began a knife attack.

The five-year-old girl was stabbed and seriously injured. She has had emergency treatment.

The injured woman is in her 30s and reportedly works at the school where she was caring for the children.

The six-year-old girl is due to undergo surgery for head wounds.

“This attack has shocked us all, and I have no doubt that the person responsible will be brought to justice,” said Ireland’s Justice Minister Helen McEntee.

“However my thoughts now are with the innocent children and the woman who have been attacked, their families, and those who are caring for them at this time.”

Related Topics

More on this story

9 hours ago
18 hours ago