Wait, is this really white people rioting?
Burning cars and looting?
Is it finally happening?
Have the Irish had enough?
Buses and trams have been torched and a shop looted during riots in Dublin city centre after a stabbing attack outside a school left three children injured.
Police and politicians called for calm amid warnings against misinformation as violence escalated from a demonstration that began on Thursday afternoon at the scene of the incident.
There were clashes with riot police as some demonstrators let off flares and fireworks, while others grabbed chairs and stools from outside bars and restaurants.
A police cordon was set up around the Irish parliament building, Leinster House, and officers from the Garda Mounted Support Unit were in nearby Grafton Street.
More than 400 Irish police officers were involved in the height of the response. In a video statement on social media, Ch Supt Patrick McMenamin said some members of the police force had been attacked and assaulted.
However, he said no serious injuries had been reported by gardaí or members of the public. Gardaí remained on patrol in the city centre, he said, adding: “Dublin city centre is now calm and returning to normal.”
The Irish justice minister, Helen McEntee, labelled the scenes “intolerable” and said a “thuggish and manipulative element must not be allowed to use an appalling tragedy to wreak havoc”.
The garda commissioner, Drew Harris, said a “complete lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology” was behind the disorder.
The violence broke out after three young children and a woman were attacked in Parnell Square East in the north of the city centre. Police detained a man in his 50s, who was also being treated for injuries, and said they were not seeking other suspects.
The incident happened at about 1.30pm on Thursday outside a school, Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire. Police said a five-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 50s sustained serious injuries. The girl was receiving emergency medical treatment. A five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were treated for less severe injuries. The boy was discharged from hospital.
Earlier on Thursday, Supt Liam Geraghty said officers were keeping an open mind in terms of the investigation but were “satisfied there is no terrorist link”.
However, at an evening press conference Harris said: “I have never ruled out any possible motive for this attack … all lines of inquiry are open to determine the motive.”
Harris said it was too early to ascribe a motive. “An individual has been arrested, we’re not seeking anyone else in respect of this incident itself at this moment in time but the investigation will obviously unfold,” he said.
On Thursday night a helicopter hovered overhead as police in riot gear used shields and batons to clear a crowd down O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare. At the other end, by O’Connell Bridge, flames rose from the remains of a bus and a car.
People smashed store windows and set off fireworks, turning the night air acrid. Loud bangs echoed across the city. When asked why they were there, members of the crowd threatened journalists and claimed the media were not telling the truth about immigration.
Harris called for “calm heads” and warned against misinformation as he condemned the “disgraceful scenes” in Dublin. He said a “complete lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology” was behind the disorder and a number of garda vehicles had been damaged.
“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,” he said. “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.”
I don’t even know what “rumor and innuendo” is being referenced here.
Maybe the street violence was committed by brown people and the government is blaming “far-right” activists. Or maybe rightists did do it and the rumors are that the stabbing was done by terrorists.
I’m not that tapped into Irish social media, and the news is not reporting the details of the claims being denounced.