Dublin is witnessing violent unrest following a knife attack outside a school that left three children injured. On Thursday night, a crowd, vocalizing anti-immigrant sentiments, clashed with the police, setting a patrol car ablaze and assaulting officers. This outburst occurred hours after a man stabbed a woman and three young children, with one child in critical condition.
A man in his 50s, found near the scene and receiving treatment for injuries, was detained by the police, who stated they were not actively seeking other suspects. While the authorities did not disclose the man’s identity, anti-immigrant groups claimed he was a foreigner.
Tensions escalated as sections of the crowd engaged in altercations with the police, resulting in injuries to several officers. Public transportation services were suspended in parts of Dublin, and officials urged calm. The stabbing transpired around 1:30 pm outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, a school in Parnell Square East.
The victims included a five-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s, and a man in his 50s, all sustaining serious injuries. The injured girl received emergency medical treatment, while a five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were treated for less severe injuries.
Superintendent Liam Geraghty, addressing a press conference, identified the detained man in his 50s as a “person of interest,” emphasizing that no other suspects were sought at the moment. The Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, cautioned that it was premature to determine a motive for the attack.
Thursday night witnessed chaotic scenes near the attack site as protesters set a police car and a tram on fire. Clashes with law enforcement ensued, with some protesters engaging in scuffles and others hurling objects at officers. Riot police, equipped with shields and batons, worked to disperse the crowd on Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street.
Amid the tumult, the Garda Commissioner decried the “disgraceful scenes,” attributing the disorder to a “complete lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology.” Harris called for calm, condemned misinformation, and vowed to address the situation firmly.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee condemned the violence, emphasizing that such actions would not be tolerated. The school targeted in the attack, Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, is an Irish-medium primary school with 172 pupils, situated in Dublin’s north inner city.
The attack occurred as students were leaving the school, prompting bystanders to intervene, disarm the assailant, and restrain him until law enforcement arrived. Emergency services responded promptly, sealing off the area as a crime scene. Authorities, including Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, expressed shock and solidarity with the victims and their families.
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