A series of violent “far-right” riots ripped through Dublin city centre last night following a stabbing at Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire children’s school at Parnell Square.
The knife attack, which took place around 1.30pm on Parnell Square East, resulted in three young children and two adults injured. Currently, two young girls remain in hospital as they are being treated for serious injuries resulting from the attack, as is a woman in her 30s who is in serious condition. A five-year-old boy who was also subject to the attack has since been discharged from hospital.
Thankfully, the attack was interrupted by a number of passers-by, including Deliveroo driver and father of two, Caio Benicio, who reportedly used his helmet to disarm the assailant.
The perpetrator of the attack was also seriously injured and has been labelled as a person of interest by the Gardai. The attack is being treated by police as a “standalone” event.
After news of the knife attack circulated throughout the city, crowds began to gather outside the Parnell Square school and all along Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street.
As the evening wore on, crowds began to shout abuse at gardai. Shortly after, the scene devolved into chaos as rioters grew violent, wearing balaclavas and hoods as they began to attack officers and set off fireworks and flares.
Women and queers and POC in Dublin City Centre have been saying for months and YEARS that there is a blatant air of hostility in the city.
Whenever you bring it up, you can see the eye rolling – people don’t want to listen.
Maybe they’ll listen now. pic.twitter.com/PPSRn02umS
— Conor (@iamconorburke) November 23, 2023
Shortly after, rioters began smashing shop windows along O’Connell and Abbey Street, including Arnott’s shopping centre. Looting of these shops followed.
The appalling violence & hooliganism on the streets of Dublin tonight – whipped up by extremist elements – is deeply disturbing. Those responsible must be held accountable.
In the meantime, we hope everyone in and around the city stays safe. https://t.co/sezcKx9tIh
— NXF (@nxfie) November 23, 2023
As video footage of the Dublin riots began to circulate online, people from all over the country started condemning the actions of the rioters on social media.
As the violence continued to sweep through the city centre, particularly targeting non-nationals and people of colour, queer businesses began closing their doors in order to protect patrons from potential violence. Queer spaces that closed early last night include Panti Bar, Penny Lane, and Street 66, amongst others.
The Irish LGBTQ+ organization, BelongTo, released a statement this morning, sharing their grief for the events that occurred at Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, as well as writing: “We continued to stand in solidarity with minority communities across Ireland – particularly migrants, those seeking international protection, and people of colour living in Dublin. This is a particularly difficult day for LGBTQ+ members of these communities, who have witnessed a rise in both anti-LGBTQ+ and racist hate in recent months.”
The safety and well-being of our community, our patrons, and our team is our top priority. We will be open today at a limited capacity until 7:00 PM for anyone needing support. Our scheduled events for today have been postponed. We urge everyone to prioritise their safety. pic.twitter.com/Fgu4Kyonzj
— Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre (@Outhouse_Dublin) November 24, 2023
Irish President Michael D. Higgins similarly issued a statement amidst the chaos, writing: “This appalling incident is a matter for the gardai and that it would be used or abused by groups with an agenda that attacks the principle of social inclusion is reprehensible and deserves condemnation by all those who believe in the rule of law and democracy.”
Reports coming in this morning show that 34 arrests were made following last night’s violent far-right riots that resulted in the destruction of Dublin City buses, a Luas tram, and at least 11 Gardai squad cars, as well as countless businesses in the city centre.
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A statement issued by Dublin Communities Against Racism (DCAR) in the aftermath of the violence, condemned the actions of the rioters, saying: “We are disgusted that the horrific events today were immediately seized upon by well-known fascist and far-right opportunists. These manipulators twisted the account of the events to suit their cynical agenda. In so doing, the gangs mobilised by these fascists destroyed the crime scene, attacked emergency workers, attacked ethnic minority passers-by and transport workers, burned cars, buses and a Luas and terrorised ordinary decent working people in their places of work or on their way home.
“The far right have nothing to offer ordinary working class people, only despair, hatred, mayhem and terror for people going about their everyday lives. Their response to a horrific attack is to unleash more horror and sow more division and fear. DCAR stands firmly with the real heroes of today’s events; the children and teachers who endured this attack, their families, the scores of people who rushed to their aid and the emergency workers, not the manipulators and opportunists who are working to their own agenda.”
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