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Riot breaks out in Dublin after three children injured in knife frenzy near school as police blame far-right 'hooligans'
23 November 2023, 14:38 | Updated: 23 November 2023, 20:00
A riot has broken out in Dublin after three children were stabbed near a primary school in the city centre.
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A Garda (Irish police) car was set on fire near to the scene in Parnell Square while another blaze was ignited nearby as a crowd clashed with officers.
The head of the Garda blamed a "complete lunatic" faction of the far-right and blamed disinformation for the chaos.
Earlier, two girls and a boy aged six or under were hurt in the knife frenzy near Parnell Square on the city's north side, while a woman in her 30s was seriously injured when she tried stop stop the attack.
A man in his 50s, who was said to have intervened too, is seriously hurt too.
The boy has been discharged while the two girls will remain in hospital overnight.
A suspect was treated at the scene for injuries believed to be self-inflicted and is in hospital with a stab wound after being detained. A large knife was seized at the scene.
But after the stabbing, which happened earlier on Thursday afternoon, disorder broke out and officers with riot shields deployed to the city centre.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said other Garda vehicles had been damaged.
"I think there's disgraceful scenes in terms of a major investigation, the maintenance of a scene and the gathering of evidence," he said.
"We have a complete lunatic hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology, and also then this disruptive tendency engaged in serious violence.
"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.
"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."
It came after rumours spread on social media that the attacker was a migrant. That had not been confirmed by authorities at all by Thursday evening.
Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, said: "The facts in this matter are still emerging.
"The emergency services responded very quickly and were on site within minutes. I thank them for that."
Reports said the injured woman was a carer for the children and worked at their creche.
The attack happened on Thursday afternoon close to the Irish language school Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire.
A motive for the attack has not yet been established but the Irish police said they are following a definite line of inquiry.
One eyewitness told the Irish Mirror: “It was just complete and utter pandemonium - it was horrific. There was a female nurse administering chest compressions to the little child.”
A resident told Dublin Live: “I'm devastated, I can't believe what is going on in this town. My daughter was going by and seen a little child, she can't get the little child's face out of her mind. All the parents are devastated. We can't believe it.”
A Garda spokesman said: "Preliminary indications are that a male attacked a number of people on Parnell Square East.
"Five casualties have been taken to hospitals in the Dublin Region. These casualties include three young children, an adult female and an adult male.
"One girl aged five has sustained serious injuries and is currently receiving emergency medical treatment in CHI Temple Street.
"A boy aged five and a girl aged six years, who received less serious injuries were brought to CHI Crumlin for treatment. The boy has since been discharged from CHI Crumlin.
"An Garda Síochána is providing support to the children's parents.
"The adult female in her 30s is being treated for serious injuries at the Mater Hospital.
"An adult male in his 50s is also being treated for serious injuries at a hospital in the Dublin Region.
"The scene remains sealed off at this time and a technical examination of the scene is ongoing.
"An incident room has been established at Mountjoy Garda Station and a Senior Investigating Officer has been appointed.
"An Garda Síochána is following a definite line of inquiry. The male in his 50s is a person of interest in this investigation. An Garda Síochána is not looking for any other person at this time."