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clash with police, torch car after Dublin knife attack

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Protesters and rioters clashed with police officers and a police vehicle was set ablaze in Dublin, Ireland Thursday evening, following a knife attack earlier in the day in which five people were injured, including three children.

Per Irish media outlet RTÉ, rioters attacked gardaí, officers of the state police force Garda, and set a garda vehicle on fire. 

The bedlam unfolded on O’Connell Street and Parnell Square East, according to the outlet. Rioters were reported to have thrown fireworks and bottles at the officers. 

dublin protests

Fire burns as people gather near the scene of a suspected stabbing that left few children injured in Dublin, Ireland, November 23, 2023. (REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

The riots came hours after the knife attack outside a school in the heart of Dublin around 1:30 p.m. A 5-year-old girl was receiving emergency medical treatment in a hospital. A woman and two other children were also injured. A 6-year-old girl sustained less serious injuries and a boy was discharged from a hospital, officials said. 

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Irish police said they weren’t treating the case as terror-related, and that a man in his 50s, who was also hospitalized with serious injuries, is a “person of interest.”

dublin protests

Riot police stands guard next to a burning police vehicle, near the scene of a suspected stabbing that left few children injured in Dublin, Ireland, November 23, 2023. (REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Police said they have a “definite line of inquiry” and that they weren’t looking for anyone else in connection with the violence outside the school. 

“The facts are being established but the facts are still not clear and a lot of the rumor and innuendo is being spread for malevolent purposes,” Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said at an evening press conference.  

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Harris derided the public disorder in the city as “disgraceful.” 

“I wish people would calm down, go home, and allow us to actually conduct our duties and investigations properly,” he said.  

Riot police stands guard near the scene of a suspected stabbing that left few children injured in Dublin, Ireland, November 23, 2023. ( REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Superintendent Liam Geraghty said at a media briefing that preliminary indications are that a man attacked a number of people on Parnell Square East.

dublin protests

People stand in front of riot police near the scene of a suspected stabbing that left few children injured in Dublin, Ireland, November 23, 2023. (REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

He said that police believe that it was “a standalone incident, not necessarily connected to any wider issues that are ongoing in the country or in the city, and we need to identify the exact reasons for that happening.”

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He confirmed earlier witness reports that a knife was used in the attack, but he couldn’t provide more details on the nature of the injuries. He also confirmed that witnesses sought to disarm the man as soon as they saw what was going on.

DUBLIN

The scene in Dublin city centre after five people were injured, including three young children, following a serious public order incident which occurred on Parnell Square East shortly after 1.30pm.  (Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)

“My understanding is members of the public did intervene at a very, very early stage and we would applaud those members of the public for getting involved in such a traumatic and potentially dangerous situation for themselves,” Geraghty said.

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Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee said that she was “deeply shocked” by the “appalling attack on three innocent children and a woman.”

She said the unrest in the city “will not be tolerated.” 

“A thuggish and manipulative element must not be allowed to use an appalling tragedy to wreak havoc,” she said. 

“We will not tolerate a small number using an appalling incident to spread division. I would appeal for calm in the city center as Garda Síochána carry out their work – attacks on members of An Garda Síochána must be utterly condemned and will be dealt with severely.” 


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