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5 Things to Know About the Riots in Dublin

Protesters in Dublin began rioting and attacking police earlier this week, after three children were injured in a knife attack outside a school.

Irish police arrested 34 people Thursday night after the rioters stormed across Dublin, setting fire to cars. According to Ireland’s national police service, 32 of the 34 people arrested were charged for participating in rioting and destruction.

Here’s what to know about the events.

Initial attack

Five people — including three children — were injured on Thursday in a knife attack outside Gaelscoil Colaiste Mhuire, a primary school in Dublin.

One of the children, a five-year-old girl, was seriously injured and remains in critical condition, police said. A six-year-old girl is also continuing to receive medical treatment for less serious issues and a five-year-old boy was discharged from the hospital Thursday evening.

A woman in her thirties and a man in his fifties remain in serious condition, the police report said.

Police are asking for anyone with information about the attack or phone video of the incident or aftermath to help with the investigation.

The attack happened on Parnell Square East shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.

The suspect

Police said it appeared a man in his fifties attacked a number of people near the school and members of the public intervened.

The suspect was also injured and is under arrest. Police do not believe anyone else was involved and the name of the man detained was not revealed to the public.

One member of the public told the BBC that he acted on instinct and hit the man in the head, and he fell down.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar praised the actions of the people who helped stop the attack.

“It was a horrifying act of violence – and our thoughts are with the injured children, with the heroic care assistant who threw herself in harm’s way to try to protect them, and with all those who risked their lives to save lives,” Varadkar said in a press release Friday.

“They are the real Irish heroes, whatever their nationality – Irish, Brazilian, Italian,” he added.

Anti-immigrant protests

Police said they responded to “serious, developing and evolving” public order incidents in Dublin after protesters turned violent in response to the stabbings.

The violence began after rumors were circulating that a foreign national was responsible for the attack. Police have not released the suspect’s nationality either.

Anti-immigration protests started last year after the country created temporary refugee shelters to accommodate 65,000 people. As of August, 17 people had been arrested at protests linked to far-right groups.

After Thursday’s stabbing, a group of protestors broke through a police barrier and the scene became violent.

Irish authorities have blamed far-right groups for creating the unrest.

Damage from subsequent riots

Police said they deployed more than 400 members of the An Garda Síochána and over 250 members of the Public Order Gardaí to stop the rioters.

As a result of the violent protests in Dublin City Center, police said they can confirm seven vehicles were torched, including three buses, three police cars and one tram.

Eight other police cars were seriously damaged, and 13 properties were attacked and damaged, police said.

Several members of the police force were also injured in the fighting — with one member in critical condition receiving treatment in the hospital.

Police said they have “commenced a formal investigation into all of the circumstances of the Violent Disorder and Public Order events” that happened on Thursday.

Response and aftermath

In response to the riots, Varadkar said the city had experienced two terrible attacks, the stabbing of the children and the second attack “on our society and the rule of law.”

Varadkar noted that approximately 500 people were involved in the riot, as the BBC reported. Authorities said they will launch a formal investigation into the incident.

He added that the attacks brought shame to Ireland’s society and disgraced those involved.

“Yesterday evening some people decided that the best way of responding to this attack was to take to the streets of Dublin and try to terrify, intimidate, loot and destroy,” Varadkar’s statement said. “Their first reaction to a five-year-old child being stabbed was to burn our city, attack its businesses and assault our Gardaí.”

The prime minister said that while the rioters claimed to be defending Irish citizens, they were putting danger to some of the most vulnerable and innocent people after non-participating civilians and pregnant women in the nearby hospital were made to feel unsafe.

“These criminals do not do so because they love Ireland. They did not do so because they want to protect Irish people,” he declared. “They did not do so our of patriotism, however warped.”

Police said in a press conference that a technical investigation of the stabbing scene is ongoing. They have not yet established a motive.

The suspect was seen loitering around the area before the incident, according to the The Irish Times. Authorities said they will be conducting a probe using street cameras and are asking for the public’s help.

Police reopened the Dublin city center for normal business on Friday after the riots.

“We have an enhanced policing plan in place this evening and look forward to seeing shoppers, match goers and all those that will be socializing in the city over the weekend ahead,” police said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Source : The Hill