Violent riots erupted in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday night following a stabbing attack earlier in the day that left four people injured, including three children. Rioters set a bus and police car on fire and caused damage to several buildings. Public transport in the city was suspended as a result of the unrest.
The stabbing incident targeted two 5-year-old girls and a 6-year-old boy, as well as a school aftercare worker who was attempting to shield the children. The girls remain hospitalized, with one in critical condition, while the boy has been discharged. The school worker is also in serious condition.
Reports have indicated conflicting information about the suspect's background. According to The Irish Times, the suspect is a single man in his late 40s and a naturalized Irish citizen. However, the Irish Independent suggests that the suspect is believed to be a foreign-born man who became an Irish citizen and has resided in the country for many years. Authorities have ruled out terrorism as a motive for the attack.
The incident sparked rumors on social media about the attacker's identity, leading to anti-immigration protests in Dublin. Rioters vandalized several establishments, including a Foot Locker, a Holiday Inn Express hotel, and a McDonald's. Videos circulating online showed looters breaking into buildings and confrontations with the police.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris described the rioters as a "hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology." The chief of Ireland's national police condemned the violence and stated that resources are being deployed to address the situation and make arrests.
So far, 34 individuals out of an estimated 500 looters have been arrested. The suspect in the stabbing is currently receiving medical treatment under armed guard and will be questioned by authorities once deemed fit to do so.
The aftermath of the stabbing and ensuing riots has sparked intense debate and discussions surrounding immigration and social tensions in Ireland. The incident serves as a reminder of the need for dialogue and effective measures to address societal challenges and prevent further violence.