Violent protests in Dublin after woman and children injured in knife attack | Ireland #Violent #protests #Dublin #woman #children #injured #knife #attack #Ireland

Violent protests have flared in Dublin after a stabbing attack outside a school left three children injured.

A crowd chanting anti-immigrant slogans set a police car on fire and attacked several officers on Thursday night hours after a man stabbed a woman and three young children, leaving one in a critical condition.

Police detained a man in his 50s, who was also being treated for injuries, and said they were not seeking other suspects.

Authorities did not identify the man but anti-immigrant groups said he was a foreigner and gathered near the scene of the attack in Parnell Square, in the north of Ireland’s capital.

Sections of the crowd clashed with police, reportedly injuring several officers. Authorities suspended bus and tram services in parts of Dublin and called for calm.

The stabbing incident happened at about 1.30pm on Thursday outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, a school at Parnell Square East, a bustling part of Dublin.

Police said a five-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 50s sustained serious injuries. The girl was receiving emergency medical treatment. A five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were treated for less severe injuries. The boy was discharged from hospital.

Supt Liam Geraghty told a press conference at Mountjoy garda station, which set up an incident room, that a man in his 50s who was detained was a “person of interest” and police were not looking for anyone else at this time. Geraghty appealed to anyone with information about the incident, including mobile phone footage of the attack and its aftermath, to come forward.

He praised the bystanders who intervened in what he said was a traumatic and dangerous incident.

The garda commissioner, Drew Harris, said it was too early to ascribe a motive. “An individual has been arrested, we’re not seeking anyone else in respect of this incident itself at this moment in time but the investigation will obviously unfold,” he said.

Riot police stands guard near the scene of the suspected stabbing, 23 November 2023.
Riot police stands guard near the scene of the suspected stabbing, 23 November 2023. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Violent scenes broke out near the site of the attack on Thursday night as crowds of protesters gathered. A police car and a tram were set on fire and some protesters were involved in scuffles with gardaí, while others threw bottles at officers.

A helicopter hovered overhead as police in riot gear used shields and batons to clear a crowd down O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare. At the other end, by O’Connell Bridge, flames rose from the remains of a bus and a car.

People smashed store windows and set off fireworks, turning the night air acrid. Loud bangs echoed across the city. Whe asked why they were there, members of the crowd threatened journalists and claimed the media were not telling the truth about immigration.

Harris called for “calm heads” and warned against misinformation as he condemned the “disgraceful scenes” in Dublin. He said a “complete lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology” was behind the disorder and a number of garda vehicles had been damaged.

“We are drafting in resources to deal with that and that will be dealt with properly. I’ve given full direction to our resources here in respect of making arrests and bringing offenders to justice,” he said.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that we police the streets, and part of that is we ask people to act responsibly and not to listen to the misinformation and rumour that is circulating on social media. The facts are being established, but the facts are still not clear on a lot of the rumour and the innuendo is being spread for malevolent purposes.”

The Irish justice minister, Helen McEntee, said: “The horrific attack today in Dublin city centre was an appalling crime that has shocked us all. However, the scenes we are witnessing this evening in our city centre cannot and will not be tolerated. A thuggish and manipulative element must not be allowed to use an appalling tragedy to wreak havoc.”

Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire is an Irish-medium primary school with 172 pupils based in a four-storey Georgian building on Parnell Square, a busy thoroughfare in Dublin’s north inner city.

The attack reportedly happened as pupils emerged from the school. Bystanders disarmed a man and pinned him to the ground, with several kicking him, one witness, Siobhan Kearney, told RTÉ. “People were trying to attack the man. So me and an American lady formed a ring around him saying we’d wait on the garda.”

Another man safeguarded a knife for police to retrieve, Kearney said. “Two children and the woman were taken back into the school where they were coming from. It was absolutely bedlam.”

Ambulances and other emergency services arrived within minutes. Streets were sealed off and the area was declared a crime scene.

Leo Varadkar expressed shock. The taoiseach said in a statement: “A number of people have been injured, some of them children. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to them and their families.”

Varadkar thanked the emergency services for what he said was a speedy response. “Gardaí have detained a suspect and are following a definite line of inquiry,” he said.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation expressed solidarity with the school community of Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire. “We are thinking of the children, their families and the school’s staff during this unimaginably difficult time,” it said.

The education minister, Norma Foley, said the National Educational Psychological Service was providing support.

#Violent #protests #Dublin #woman #children #injured #knife #attack #Ireland

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