Riots Break Out In Ireland After Children Stabbed Outside School
Flames rise from the car and a bus, set alight at the junction of Bachelors Walk and the O'Connell Bridge, in Dublin on November 23, 2023, as people took to the streets following the stabbings earlier in the day. Protesters in Dublin on Thursday torched a car and fought police, an AFP journalist reported, after three children were injured in a suspected school stabbing that social media rumours attributed to a foreign national.
PETER MURPHY/AFP via Getty Images

Violent riots erupted in Ireland’s capital Dublin Thursday night after four people, including three children, were injured in a stabbing attack earlier in the day. 

Rioters set a bus and police car ablaze and damaged multiple buildings as officials suspended all public transport in the city, according to Fox News. The violent demonstrations were sparked by a stabbing that targeted children as young as 6 and 5 years old, with rumors swirling on social media regarding the attacker’s identity.

The Irish Times reported Friday that the suspect is a single man in his late 40s and “is a naturalized Irish citizen” while the Irish Independent reported that the suspect is believed to be a foreign-born man who became an Irish citizen and has lived in the country for “many years.” Police have ruled out terrorism as a motive for the attack. 

The attacker stabbed two 5-year-old girls and a 6-year-old boy. A school aftercare worker was also reportedly stabbed while attempting to shield the children from the attacker. The boy was discharged from the hospital, but the young girls remain in the hospital, and the 5-year-old is in critical condition. The female school worker is also in serious condition, according to The Irish Times. 

The suspect was reportedly stopped by a Brazilian delivery driver who was passing by the area on a moped when he witnessed the attack. The Brazilian man used his helmet to hit the knifeman, knocking him to the ground. The school worker is also being praised for her actions, protecting the children from the attacker as she sustained stab wounds.

Following the attack, reports began spreading on social media that the suspect was a foreign national, and anti-immigration protesters flooded the streets of Dublin, according to The Daily Mail. Rioters reportedly ransacked a Foot Locker, a Holiday Inn Express hotel, and a McDonald’s in the city. Video showed looters breaking into buildings as fires raged on streets and police confronted the rioters. 

Drew Harris, the chief of Ireland’s national police — also known as Garda — called the rioters “a complete lunatic hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology,” adding that a police officer was seriously injured in the clashes.

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

Police arrested 34 people of the reported 500 looters who partook in the night of violence. The suspect is being treated for his injuries at a hospital where he is under armed guard and will be questioned by authorities when he is deemed to be in good enough health. 

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