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FACTCHECK

Debunked: Fake News site spreads baseless claim of a second stabbing at a school in Ballymun

Fake news quickly spread in the wake of a attack at Parnell Square

BEFORE RIOTS KICKED off in Dublin City Centre yesterday evening, following a knife attack that left three children injured, claims that a second attack had taken place at a school spread around the internet.

The Journal was able to find more than a dozen posts on Twitter/X spreading the rumour without any evidence.

“Unconfirmed reports of a separate stabbing at a school in Ballymun also,” Derek Blighe, the leader of the anti-immigration Ireland First political party said on a Twitter/X post that was viewed more than 15,200 times. The post is still available and no correction has been posted.

Blighe has previously spread claims about crimes that do not appear to have occurred.

The story was also boosted by appearing as an ‘article‘ on a fake news site: SNBC13.com.

That ‘article’ reads in full:

“Stabbing in Ballymun — Another stabbing incident has been reported in Ballymun, Ireland. This happened shortly after the horrific stabbing at Parnell Square, Dublin. Investigations are ongoing to determine more details as regard the stabbing in Ballymun. The general public will receive updates.

“Read the following statement by a witness: ‘Exact same thing after happening in ballymun !! 2 dirty foreigners after stabbing a fella collecting his kids from school. This is CLEARLY arranged by these dirty cnts, now its time we alt arrange something of our own’”.

The site has previously published fake news items that appear to be automatically generated from social media posts.

An analysis by NPR following hoax shooting claims indicated that the site was designed to trick people into thinking the fake news stories it created were hosted on a genuine news site in order to generate advertising revenue. 

However, nothing in that article, or any of the social media posts that reported the supposed stabbing give any verifiable details, such as the name of the school. Nor did any of the posters indicate that they had witnessed or had any evidence that such a crime had occurred.

In response to queries by The Journal, An Garda Síochána’s press office said that there was no incident that matched this description.

Verdict

False. There are no reports of a stabbing at a Ballymun school similar to the event that happened in Dublin City on Thursday.

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