Riots erupted across Ireland Thursday night as citizens took to the streets to protest the mass stabbing of children by an immigrant who had lived in the country for more than two decades.
Footage from the chaos shows flames and disorder in Dublin, including a flaming tram and other structure fires as police in riot gear hoisted shields to hold back a crowd of onlookers.
Despite flaming vehicles, protesters and passers-by appeared peaceful in other footage emerging from the night of pandemonium.
Dublin tonight 🇮🇪 ✝️ pic.twitter.com/KvtOKWwmkn
— Catholic Arena (@CatholicArena) November 23, 2023
The eruption was the culmination of years of resentment at the myriad of issues brought upon Ireland by migrants, who many citizens felt contributed to rising crime and cost of living. The latest case, in which a man in his late 40s or early 50s is accused of stabbing or slashing multiple young children, came to symbolize the detriment that’s come upon the small island nation in recent years.
According to Irish media reports, a five-year-old girl has been sent to the emergency room with life-threatening cuts while another boy, 5, and girl, 6, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, a woman in her 30s who worked at the school where the attack took place was treated for slashes.
A number of passers-by intervened on the street shortly after the attack began and subdued the suspect, took a knife from him and threw the knife across the street into a grassy area close to the Garden of Remembrance. The incident took place outside Gaelscoil Coláiste Mhuire on Parnell Square East as children were coming out of the school, which caters to primary-age children.
The rioters also set fire to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Dublin, a site that has housed many illegal immigrants in recent years.
In a press conference, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris blamed the unrest on a “lunatic, hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology” and appealed for calm. However, that was not good enough for legendary Irish fighter Conor McGregor, who said the unrest was in response to a “grave danger” facing Irelanders.
“Innocent children ruthlessly stabbed by a mentally deranged non-national in Dublin, Ireland today. Our chief of police had this to say on the riots in the aftermath. Drew, not good enough. There is grave danger among us in Ireland that should never be here in the first place, and there has been zero action done to support the public in any way, shape or form with this frightening fact. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Make change or make way,” he wrote.