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Riots erupt in Dublin after young children are stabbed

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Internashonal

Riots erupt in Dublin after young children are stabbed


Irish police guarded looted stores and firefighters cooled down smoldering vehicles in the heart of Dublin’s city center early on Friday after the stabbing of three young children sparked a night of rioting rarely seen before in the capital.

Police blamed far-right agitators for starting the violence after a small group of anti-immigrant protesters arrived at the scene of the stabbing attack beside the main thoroughfare of O’Connell Street and clashed with police.

It took officers several hours to regain control after the crowd grew to around 200 to 300 people. A bus, tram and police car were burned out, public transport shut down and people urged to stay away from large parts of the city.

“It was gratuitous thuggery,” Chief Superintendent Patrick McMenamin said in a video statement on the social media platform X, declaring that calm had been restored.

“Some of my colleagues were also attacked and assaulted. Thankfully there were no serious reports of injury.”

Dublin Fire Brigade said firefighters continued to damp down a smoldering tram on O’Connell Street on Friday morning and make the scene safe. Public transport resumed, but with restrictions in the area.

Barricades were still up across some streets and police stood guard outside a Foot Locker store with broken windows that was looted during the riot. The front of a Holiday Inn hotel that was also targeted was boarded up.

A five-year-old girl was receiving emergency treatment after sustaining serious injuries in the stabbing. A man in his late 40s, also being treated for serious injuries, was arrested by police who said they were not looking for any other suspect.

Police said on Thursday that they have not ruled out any motive, including whether it could be terror-related. They would not comment on the nationality of the detained man.

Such rioting is almost unprecedented in Dublin.

There are no far-right parties or politicians elected to parliament, but small anti-immigrant protests have grown in the last year. The government is reviewing security around parliament after a recent protest trapped lawmakers inside.

A five-year-old girl was receiving emergency treatment after sustaining serious injuries in the stabbing. A man in his late 40s, also being treated for serious injuries, was arrested by police who said they are not looking for any other suspect.

Police said it appeared the man attacked a number of people on Dublin’s Parnell Square shortly after 1:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET). Members of the public intervened at an early stage of the attack.

A woman in her 30s was also being treated for serious injuries while the two other children, a five-year-old boy and six-year-old girl, suffered less serious injuries. The boy has been discharged from hospital.

“There was complete and utter pandemonium, women wailing, men screaming and crying,” Anthony Boyle, 31, an IT consultant who lives on the road and was passing by told Reuters.

The scene was still sealed off when a group of around 50 anti-immigrant protesters briefly broke through a police barrier. Some shouted “get them out” and one kicked the wing mirror off a police car. Another was draped in an Irish flag.

A larger crowd then began throwing objects and firing fireworks at riot police in helmets and shields, once they were deployed, and the rioting spiraled out of control. The crowds began to disperse around 9 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET.)

Police would not comment on the nationality of the detained man.

Net migration among Ireland’s 5.3 million population rose to its second highest level since records began in the 12 months to April and around 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived since Russia’s invasion, among the highest per capita in the E.U.

“There is a group of people, thugs, criminals, who are using this appalling attack to sow division,” Justice Minister Helen McEntee told reporters.

“Every force possible is being used by the Gardai (police) to restore order. This will not be tolerated.”



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