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Gardaí and emergency services at the scene of the serious incident on Parnell Square East Sasko Lazarov/
Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire

Education Minister praises 'immediate instinct' of school staff after violent attack

Five people, including three young children, were hospitalised following the incident on Parnell Square East.

MINISTER FOR EDUCATION Norma Foley has praised the “immediate instinct” of school staff to “protect the children” following the stabbing incident near Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire in Dublin city centre yesterday. 

Five people, including three young children, were hospitalised following the incident on Parnell Square East. 

Two of the injured people – a woman (30s) and a young girl (5) – sustained serious injuries, An Gardaí Siochána said. 

The girl is receiving emergency treatment in hospital.

Two other children who received less serious injuries were brought to CHI Crumlin for treatment. The boy (5) has since been discharged from CHI Crumlin.

Garda Superintendent Liam Geraghty has said investigators are satisfied the attack is not terror-related. A man (50s) who is believed to be responsible for the attack is being treated in hospital for serious injuries. 

Minister Foley told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that psychological service teams were at the school yesterday and will be available to the school again today. 

“They will consistently work with the school staff to support the school community. Every school has a critical incident plan, we would hope they never have to invoke it but it was invoked yesterday. 

Foley said that in situations like this “children need to be with people that they know best and that a calm and secure environment is provided to the children and that’s exactly what will be happening in the school”. 

The Minister said she has spoken with the school’s principal. 

“He is very appreciative of the great work and and support that is being provided by so many, by the gardaí, by the emergency response,” she said. 

“It’s a great, great school,” Foley said, adding that it is a “great community and together they are working through this”. 

She said the “immediate instinct” of everyone, including the carer and the staff, was to “protect the children”. 

“It was quite extraordinary that we could see such bravery, such determination to do the right thing for the children in this awful, awful circumstance,” she said. 

The Journal reported that Deliveroo driver Caio Benicio was travelling on his motorbike yesterday afternoon when he saw a man with a knife attacking a young girl on Parnell Square East. 

Immediately, the 43-year-old Brazilian dismounted his bike, took off his helmet, and hit the attacker with it.

“I didn’t even make a decision, it was pure instinct, and it was all over in seconds. He fell to the ground, I didn’t see where knife went, and other people stepped in,” he told The Journal last night.

Addressing the riots that occurred in the city centre yesterday evening, Minister Foley said: “What we saw last night unfold across Dublin were the actions of a few, not the actions of the many.

“They were the actions of a violent few who created chaos, who upended the city, but they are not reflective of the majority, they are not reflective of society and they do not reflect the actions that were taken by instinct by all those who were in Parnell Square yesterday,” she said. 

Gardaí made 34 arrests during the riots last night, 32 of which will be appearing before the courts this morning, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told a media briefing this morning. 

He said 13 shops have been “significant damaged” or subject to looting, while 11 garda vehicles were destroyed in the rioting. 

Three buses and one Luas were also destroyed, he said. 

Harris said that gardaí could not have anticipated the events that unfolded in the city centre in the wake of the stabbing incident.

Harris said what happened was that groups of people “filled with hate” turned on gardaí and “hate was directed towards members of An Garda Síochána”.

He said it could not have been anticipated that the angry mob “would attempt to storm through our cordon and disrupt the crime scene and then engage in violence, looting and disorder and including some very significant criminal damage”.

“Nobody could have anticipated that when these events broke when these events started at 1.30, these awful events. And obviously we were concentrated upon the investigation. We couldn’t have anticipated that this would be the reaction,” he added.

With reporting by Eimer McAuley and Niall O’Connor

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