A knife attack in central Dublin, Ireland on Thursday has resulted in serious injuries to five people, including three young children, creating a chaotic scene near O’Connell Street, the city’s primary thoroughfare. The violence triggered immediate, aggressive clashes between riot police and anti-immigrant protesters.
The incident escalated rapidly, culminating in a police car and a double-decker bus being set ablaze. Additionally, property damage was reported at a nearby Holiday Inn hotel and a McDonald’s restaurant.
Among the victims, a five-year-old girl is receiving critical emergency care. The police have apprehended a man in his late 40s, who is also being treated for serious injuries, and they are not currently seeking any additional suspects. The investigation remains active, with Drew Harris, a senior police officer, stating that all motives, including terrorism, are being considered.
The attack occurred near Parnell Square shortly after 13:30 GMT and saw intervention from the public at its early stages. A woman in her 30s is among those seriously hurt, while two other children, aged five and six, sustained less severe injuries.
The aftermath of the attack witnessed approximately 50 anti-immigrant protesters breaching a police barrier. The protest turned violent with some participants damaging police vehicles and engaging in altercations with riot officers.
Police Superintendent Liam Geraghty clarified that the attack did not target the nearby school. Eyewitness Anthony Boyle described the scene as one of “complete and utter pandemonium,” with visible distress among the bystanders.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar expressed shock over the incident, reflecting the sentiment of a community rattled by the unexpected violence and its ensuing turmoil.