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AS IT HAPPENED

As it happened: Increased Garda presence in Dublin, Opposition declare no confidence in Commissioner

A five-year-old girl remains in critical condition in hospital following a stabbing yesterday.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 24th 2023, 10:14 PM

THERE WAS A large garda presence in Dublin city centre tonight, following violent scenes last night that saw clashes with gardaí, shops smashed and looted, and buses and Luas carriages set on fire.

Some arrests were made on O’Connell Street and gardaí are out in large numbers in the area, with footage showing them moving on groups of young people. 

Last night’s unrest came after five people, including three young children, were hospitalised after a stabbing in Parnell Square yesterday afternoon. The five-year-old girl who was injured in the incident remains in critical condition in hospital. 

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris described those carrying out the rioting as a “complete lunatic, hooligan faction”, and Justice Minister Helen McEntee described what happened as “nothing but thuggery”.

However, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she has “no confidence” in Drew Harris or the Justice Minister and said people don’t feel safe in Dublin city centre.

34 arrests were made following the disruption, with over 30 people appearing in court today.

Good morning.

We will be taking you through all of today’s developments following the unprecedented violence in Dublin city centre last night. 

You can take a look back at the events unfolded here

Dublin Bus

Dublin Bus is advising customers this morning that all services are operating. 

Buses cannot serve Parnell Street, Parnell Square, and O’Connell Street, with diversions via Gardiner Street and Church Street.

Restricted Luas services

In a statement this morning, the Luas has said that Red Line services are running between Tallaght/Saggart to Smithfield only. There is no service operating between Smithfield and Connolly/The Pont.

Green Line services are running between Brides Glen to St. Stephen’s Green only. There is no service operating between St. Stephen’s Green and Broombridge.

Customers are advised that Luas tickets are valid on Dublin Bus for the duration on the disruption.

Aftermath

Our reporter Nicky Ryan is on the ground in Dublin city centre this morning. 

Our reporter Nicky Ryan, reporting from Dublin city centre, shares footage of the wreckage of the Luas that was set on fire during the riots yesterday being cleared from O’Connell Street. 

Road closures

Dublin City Council has said that the North Quays at Ormond Quay and O’Connell Street remain closed as a major clean up operation begins in the city centre.

An Post

An Post is advising customers that the GPO on O’Connell Street will reopen for all business at 12pm today to allow time for the clean-up operation in the city centre and the resumption of public transport for customers and staff.

Damage

Our reporter Nicky Ryan remains in the city centre, where Gardaí are stationed at the shops that were looted and smashed last night.

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Garda presence

There is a garda presence on the streets of Dublin city centre this morning, particularly in the area where the violence scenes occurred. 

Gardaí are stationed at shops that were damaged in the rioting and managing traffic. O’Connell Street and Parnell Street remain closed. 

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris will be providing an update to the media later this morning. 

'Pure instinct'

Last night, our reporter Eimer McAuley spoke to Caio Benicio, the Deliveroo driver who intervened to stop the attacker on Parnell Square East yesterday. 

The 43-year-old Brazilian man said he saw the attack unfolding, 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 Eimer last night.

  • You can read the full article here.

river (61) Caoi Benicio. EIMER MCAULEY / THE JOURNAL EIMER MCAULEY / THE JOURNAL / THE JOURNAL

Dublin Fire Brigade

Dublin Fire Brigade has said that firefighters from Tara Street and Phibsborough are making the scene safe of last night’s violence in the city centre safe this morning. 

'I didn't recognise Dublin yesterday'

Journalist and author Aoife Barry, who witnessed much of the violence and disorder in Dublin city centre last night, has said she “didn’t recognise the Dublin I witnessed yesterday”. 

Writing for The Journal, she said: “There are many dark things to grapple with today. People will have heard the shouts yesterday about ‘getting them out’ and ‘closing borders’ and Ireland being ‘full’.

Some will ask themselves: am I not welcome in Ireland anymore? How at risk am I now? How bad could things get if there’s a ‘next time’?

  • You can read the full article here.
Rotunda Hospital

The Rotunda Hospital has said that outpatient services and scheduled procedures will go ahead today. 

It is advising patients with appointments to attend the hospital as scheduled. 

It comes after the hospital last night asked patients not to travel to the hospital unless it was necessary due to the unrest in the city centre. 

34 arrested last night

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said gardaí made 34 arrests during the riots last night, 32 of which will be appearing before the courts this morning.

During a media briefing, he said 13 shops have been “significant damaged” or subject to looting, while 11 garda vehicles were “either destroyed through arson or quite extensively damaged”.

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

The Garda Commissioner described last night’s scenes as “huge destruction by a riotous mob”.

More updates to follow

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said that one garda was seriously injured during the violent scenes last night. 

He said “numerous” other members of An Garda Síochána were injured. 

Investigations into stabbing 'ongoing'

garda-commissioner-drew-harris-speaks-to-media-at-garda-hq-in-dublin-the-morning-after-violent-scenes-unfolded-in-the-city-centre-the-unrest-followed-an-attack-on-parnell-square-east-where-five-peopl Garda Commissioner Drew Harris speaking to media at Garda HQ in Dublin the morning. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

In respect of yesterday’s stabbing incident in Parnell Square, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said that investigations into the incident are ongoing.

“Very significant inquiries were being conducted last night, but I have to say it’s disgraceful that our inquiries in the city centre were prevented and disrupted by the disorder,” he said.

He said he understands that the five-year-old girl remains in a serious condition. Her teacher is also understood to be in a serious condition, he said. 

No arrest has been made but a suspect has been identified, he added.

Gardaí responded 'in extraordinary fashion'

The Garda Commissioner also defended the garda policing of the early stages of the riot last night. 

Drew Harris said that while the initial stabbing incident happened shortly after 1pm, order was restored in Dublin city centre at 9pm last night as senior garda managers “deployed resources”.

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

“An Garda Síochána responded to this in an extraordinary fashion, members from across the country, not just here in the DMR (Dublin Metropolitan Region) responded and returned to duty, public order units from all over Ireland responded here to Dublin.

“More and more resources were arriving throughout the evening. But we could not have anticipated that in response to a terrible crime, the stabbing of schoolchildren and their teacher, that this would be the response,” he said.

748Norma Foley_90672940 Minister for Education Norma Foley. Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie / RollingNews.ie

The 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. 

She 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.”

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.”

  • You can read the full article here.

Our reporter Nicky Ryan is in Dublin city centre this morning, where Dublin City Council are carrying out a clean-up operation following last night’s violent scenes.

Many people are going about their business this morning, with shops reopening and Christmas stalls being set up on Henry Street. 

Justice minister Helen McEntee has said that those who were rioting in Dublin last night will be apprehended and brought before the courts, adding she hopes they face time in prison.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, McEntee said that around 200 people “took advantage” of the Parnell Square attack to create “nothing but havoc” on the streets of Dublin last night.

She described the events in Dublin city last night as a “very volatile situation” and that gardaí will learn from the event, and adapt their responses.

McEntee said: “I think it’s important to recognize that gardaí contained this, for the most part, to a very small area.

“This was [on] our main thoroughfare, I acknowledge that and I think the scenes are incomprehensible.

“They managed to contain this to a very small area. Yes, there were incidents, individual incidents which expanded out beyond the O’Connell Street area and Henry Street. But this was for the most part contained and by midnight light night, order had been restored to our city,” she added.

She described the rioters as a “violent mob of thugs and criminals whose sole focus was to wreak havoc” and said that the gardaí are now investigating CCTV in order to investigate the matter further.

Asked if there are enough Gardaí patrolling in Dublin City, McEntee said she believes there are enough and commended the officers who “put themselves in danger” in order to restrain the crowds last night.

She added that the events yesterday were “not normal” and that a “small group” saw “a particularly devastating act and took advantage of that”

“Gardaí responded accordingly,” McEntee said.  “We saw throughout the afternoon [that] this was not something which suddenly escalated at midnight.

“Throughout the day more and more gardaí, more and more public order units, more and more members were brought to our city center to respond. But it’s a very volatile situation.”

It is understood a number of external gardaí, from outside of the Dublin North Central district, were brought into the city in order to deal with the rioting and violence.

In total, 34 people were arrested – 32 of which will be brought before the courts today.

“There is thousands of hours of CCTV footage that gardaí will go through – many of these didn’t cover their faces – they came in, they caused havoc, and that CCTV will be gone through,” McEntee said.

Some more photographs of the damaged Luas and buses on O’Connell Street this morning from our reporter Nicky Ryan.

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Tánaiste commends gardaí 'who put themselves in harms way'

Our Political Editor Christina Finn is at Dublin Castle this morning, where Tánaiste Micheál Martin is speaking to the media. 

Speaking about last night’s violent scenes, he commended the gardaí who “put themselves in harms way to deal with the actions of a small minority in our society”. 

Violence scenes 'not who we are as a people'

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the scenes in Dublin city centre last night do not reflect “who we are as a people”.

“Ireland has built a modern and inclusive society. It it something precious that we should all work to hold. We understand the need to respect others, the need to respect difference and the need to respect the dignity of every human being,” he said.

“This is something that we should hold precious and we should collectively as a society come together to recommit to those fundamental values, the fundamental value of decency, which has always been the hallmark of our society.”

'Better part of our nature must now show itself'

Tanaiste statement 00001_90693679 Tánaiste Micheál Martin speaking to the media outside Dublin Castle this morning. Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie / RollingNews.ie

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he has confidence in An Garda Síochána, the Garda Commissioner and Justice Minister Helen McEntee. 

He said that the “better part of our nature must now show itself”.

“What happened last evening does not reflect in any form the views of the vast majority of the Irish people. People have no time for the type of lawlessness, rioting and attacks on our gardaí, fire services, bus drivers that happened last night,” he said. 

When you attack buses, when you attack a Luas, when you attack shops, you’re attacking your own community.

“You are attacking family, you’re attacking friends, you’re attacking workers and that’s the core point we should reflect on here.”

Speaking to reporters at Dublin Castle this morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “As Taoiseach, I want to say to a nation that is unsettled and afraid, this is not who we are, this is not who we want to be, and this is not who we will ever be.” 

Varadkar said the attack outside the school yesterday was a “horrifying act of violence”. 

“Our thoughts are with the injured children, their heroic carer assistant who threw herself in harms way to protect them and all those who risked their lives to save lives. They’re real Irish heros, whatever their nationality.”

The Taoiseach added: “Yesterday evening, some people decided that the best way to respond to this terrible attack was to take to the streets of Dublin and try to terrify, intimidate, loot and destroy. Their first reaction to a five-year-old child being stabbed was to burn our city, attack its businesses and assault our gardaí. 

“As a result of their actions, buses and trams were set on fire, innocent passersby were intimidated and pregnant women in Rotunda Hospital were made feel unsafe and in danger. 

“These people claim to be defending Irish citizens, yet they put in danger the newest and most vulnerable and most innocent people. 

“Those involved brought shame on Dublin, brought shame on Ireland and brought shame on their families and themselves.

“These criminals did not do what they did because they love Ireland. They did not do what they did because they wanted to protect Irish people. They did not do it out of any sense of patriotism, however warped. They did so because they are filled with hate. They love violence, they love chaos and they love causing pain to others.” 

More from the Taoiseach here. 

“Today I call on us all to remember who we really are, because we’re better than this. It’s time we came together and reminded others who claim to speak for us about what our country really stands for,” he said. 

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said this morning that the Government will pass laws in the coming weeks to “enable the gardaí to make better use of the CCTV evidence they collected yesterday”. 

“Also, we’ll modernise our laws against incitement to hatred and hatred in general. That is more required than was evwer the case before.” 

He added: “The Minister of Justice will coordinate with the Commissioner to ensure we never witness such terrible scenes as the 23rd of November 2023 ever again.” 

An Garda Síochána has issued a new statement this morning regarding the stabbing incident on Parnell Square East. 

The five-year-old girl who was injured in the incident remains in critical condition in hospital this morning. 

The statement in full here:

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Some photos of the clean-up operations underway in Dublin city centre this morning. 

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Public transport

Dublin Bus has confirmed that all services are operating this morning. 

Buses can’t serve the Quays in both directions, O’Connell Street, and from Westmoreland Street to Abbey Street. 

All northbound services are diverting via Fleet Street and Townsend Street. 

All southbound services are diverting via Gardiner Street. 

Commuters are being asked to expect delays and disruptions. 

The Immigrant Council of Ireland has issued a statement today saying its thoughts are “with the children, parents, teachers and the wider community affected by the horrific attack in Parnell Square yesterday”. 

“The scenes which followed yesterday evening in Dublin, with extreme violence, looting, property destruction, and intimidation of emergency response staff, gardaí and members of the public, are completely unacceptable and shocking,” it said. 

It added: “The hate networks, both online and off, who feed this hatred must be disrupted by the authorities and those who incite hatred brought to account.

“We give our unending solidarity with those affected by the attack yesterday, with the north inner city community, with migrant communities and with the emergency services who are all impacted by what was one of Dublin’s darkest days. We applaud the bravery of all who intervened in the attack yesterday – even in chaos, there are heroes who demonstrate the best of us.”

Following the scenes last night in Dublin city centre, Stephen Bowen, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the children and woman brutally attacked in Dublin yesterday.

“However the violence that has taken place since this tragic incident has no place in our society.

“We stand now, as always, with the many people who have come to this country seeking a better life, or protection.

“The hate and thuggery of these rioters do not speak for the countless people in this country who have opened their hearts and homes to refugees and immigrants, and will continue to do so.”

Many schools in Dublin’s inner city were trying to address the fallout from yesterday’s events. Some were assessing the safety of students on their walks or commute to school this morning and many were also making sure students weren’t distressed by the news of events.

One school principal, Dermot Stanley from the Canal Way Educate Together in Dublin 8 said they did not have any advice via the Department of Education in relation to the handling of this complex issue, but that he did issue a message to staff early this morning. “I believe it’s vitally important we address the best way to communicate with the children in relation to these distressing events”, the principal said.

In relation to the attack on Parnell Street, he advised staff not to engage in adult-to-adult conversations within earshot of pupils, acknowledging there would be fear and worry in the school community this morning. Stanley wrote, “Yesterday’s events are not common and have never happened before” and that it’s important to explain to children, if they ask, that this is the case.

When it came to questions about the rioting in the city centre last night, the advice was to assure the children that they are safe in their school today and that there are a lot of adults to help keep them safe.

The Irish Medical Organisation has said its “thoughts are with the children and families affected by the attack at the school in Dublin city yesterday and in particular the young child and carer who are being treated in hospital”.

“We condemn the violence that occurred in Dublin city centre last night and wish to offer our full support to all our international colleagues across the emergency and health services who continue to deliver much-needed care and support in our communities around the country,” it said. 

Management at the Rotunda Maternity Hospital has issued a statement and is reminding all patients that the hospital is “fully operational and providing the normal level of services”.

Patients are advised that they should attend for planned appointments or indeed if they need urgent medical attention that they should present to the hospital as normal.

“The Rotunda Hospital welcomes and benefits from a very diverse workforce and it is vital that all staff feel valued, respected and are free to come and go to their workplace without harassment or intimidation,” it said. 

“Hospital management also wish to acknowledge the efforts of staff who responded to the unfolding incident on Parnell Square and staff who remained on site overnight while An Garda Síochána brought a difficult situation under control,” the statement said. 

“The actions, efforts and presence of An Garda Síochána was hugely reassuring to all staff and should be acknowledged as it allowed the hospital to remain open and fully operational to focus on its primary role of caring for mothers and babies.”

Here are some more photos of damaged caused to shops in Dublin city centre during last night’s riots: 

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HSE CEO Bernard Gloster has issued a statement regarding the actions taken by the health service in relation to the attack in Dublin city centre lasst night and the riots last night. 

The HSE said there were “difficulties in the movement within the city for ambulance services and staff leaving/coming to work” yesterday afternoon and last night. 

A small number of patient diversions to other hospitals from city centre hospitals “were necessary”.

There was a small rise in numbers attending non city centre Emergency Departments as a result of avoidance of city centre hospitals.

“We expect this could impact on attendances today with some seeking services today which they deferred coming to last night,” the HSE said. 

“The National Ambulance Service called in five extra crews to support responses and demand on our colleagues in Dublin Fire Brigade’s ambulance service. NAS supported An Garda Síochána with tactical emergency medical supports and this is standard when public order units are deployed and injury risk to Gardaí is heightened,” the HSE added.

008 HSE Sharing the Vision_90674670 HSE CEO Bernard Gloster Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie / RollingNews.ie

Bernard Gloster said he wishes to “thank all of our staff for the work they did in very difficult circumstances”.

“Very many are used to working to serve our patients in very difficult circumstances however street violence adds significantly to the challenge on a number of fronts,” Gloster said. 

“We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff as they go about their work and I am certainly concerned for them when even a small number of people act with intent on causing violence, harm and disruption,” he said. 

“The scenes visible on the streets of Dublin last night have implications far beyond what people can see and this impacts all public services including healthcare for the majority of law abiding citizens,” Gloster added. 

The HSE said it would like to reassure the public that notwithstanding possible access issues around the city centre today and over the weekend, hospitals are operating as normal.

Extra security is in place to protect hospitals, patients and staff.

Community healthcare services in Dublin city are continuing to provide services to vulnerable patients and service users.

“Whilst we cannot comment on individual patients, we are providing the best of care to all the people injured in the incidents of yesterday,” the HSE said. 

Some shops around Henry Street and O’Connell Street are putting things back together today after being looted during the riots last night.

Videos showed rioters at Arnotts, Asics and Foot Locker, among others, breaking in to the stores and leaving with goods.

Arnotts had closed early when the riot had begun, but some security staff were still in the department store when the looting began and managed to contain a lot of it, preventing further looters from entering after the first wave.

“It could have been a lot worse,” one source said.

Donald McDonald, the CEO of Brown Thomas Arnotts, said the company’s main concern was for the welfare and safety of its workers, some of whom worked through the night to ensure the shop would be able to open today.

“They may have damaged our store and stolen some merchandise, but they can never damage the Arnotts spirit, we will not allow them,” he said in a statement.

The company said it will engage with gardaí “to understand what actions they are taking to ensure nothing like this happens again in Dublin City”.

Director of Retail Ireland, the Ibec group representing the retail sector, Arnold Dillon said that the sector is “deeply shocked at the violence and disorder” in Dublin last night.

“There is massive concern about the impact on staff, the cost of repairing damage and replacing stock, and the knock on effect it will have on city centre trade over the coming weeks,” Dillon said.

“Getting staff home safely was a major challenge for many retailers yesterday and many shops have reduced trading hours today,” he said. 

“The disorder has significantly affected trade at a key time for the sector. Of even greater concern is that shoppers will be put off travelling into the city centre over the coming weeks,” Dillon added.

He said that a “strong, assertive and visible Garda response is required”.

“It is vital that there is no repeat of what happened yesterday. It is also crucial that there is now a collective effort to ensure the city is safe, secure and welcoming to all over the Christmas period.”

Gardaí are still present and the scene remains sealed off outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire this morning. 

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Security sources currently believe the stabbing incident on Parnell Street yesterday was a random attack, but gardaí continue to investigate if the attacker had any connection with the injured people or with the school.

The Journal has confirmed with security sources that the alleged attacker is an Irish citizen, originally from Algeria, and living in Ireland for 20 years.

He remains in hospital this morning with gardaí present.

As reported earlier, a five-year-old girl who was seriously injured is in a critical condition in hospital.

A woman in her 30s also remains in a serious condition in hospital.

A six-year-old girl is receiving treatment for less serious injuries, while a five-year-old boy who was injured was discharged from hospital last night.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has called on the HSE and other healthcare employers to be vigilant of staff safety and wellbeing in the coming days. 

“Our thoughts are with our community in the north inner city, especially those whose lives were turned upside down by yesterday’s violent attack,” INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said. 

“Nurses and midwives will be very concerned about the racial taunts and attacks that occurred on the streets of Dublin last night,” Ní Sheaghdha said. 

“We are asking employers to be extra vigilant and conscious of the safety and wellbeing of our members who are not from Ireland. They have come to this country to work, to provide a very necessary service, and they need to be absolutely assured of their safety when they go to work,” she said. 

“The INMO will be available to all members who are impacted by the events in Dublin City Centre, particularly in the Rotunda, CHI Temple Street, CHI Crumlin and the Mater.”

Mater Hospital restrictions

The Mater Hospital has issued a statement requesting that “the public do not visit the hospital at this time”. 

Restrictions at the hospital will be in place from today for 72 hours. 

“The only visitors who will be allowed on campus are those who are visiting patients in critical care, vulnerable young adults, psychiatry patients or those whose loved ones are receiving end of life care,” the hospital stated. 

“The visitor restrictions are being put in place for public and patient safety reasons. The Mater Hospital has all safety measures in place and every effort is being made to ensure the security of the hospital,” it said. 

The hospital said it is “continuing to provide all services to patients and all hospital appointments remain in place unless otherwise informed”.

There have been reports circulating on social media of an anti-immigration protest planned at the Spire opposite the GPO on Dublin’s O’Connell Street this lunchtime.

Our reporter Muiris O’Cearbhaill is there, and there’s a heavy garda presence – but no sign of any disturbance right now. We’ll continue to bring his reports from the scene. 

The Muslim Sisters of Éire, who organise one of the most well-known soup kitchens in the city each week, have cancelled this evening’s soup run outside the GPO on Dublin’s O’Connell Street “for the safety of our service users and our team”. 

 

Leo Varadkar says ‘tens of millions’ of euro worth of damage was done to Dublin city infrastructure and transport overnight, our political editor Christina Finn reports.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris tallied some of it this morning, noting that 13 shops were damaged and 11 garda vehicles were either destroyed by arson or extensively damaged, while three buses and one Luas were also destroyed.

Some schools in Dublin city centre have closed early today in response to fears of further unrest, my colleague Valerie Flynn reports

Clinics have also been cancelled at Temple Street children’s hospital this afternoon, but the hospital remains open for emergencies.

Two primary schools in the Dublin 1 area confirmed to The Journal that they had been advised by gardaí at Store Street Garda Station to close early and had taken the decision to do so.

All is quiet on O’Connell Street. My colleague Muiris O’Cearbhaill reports that there are no sign of any protesters, and the garda public order units have now left the scene. 

A small number of shops have closed in the area but larger ones – including Penneys – remain open. 

A lot of people have been asking if there’s anything they can do for Caio Castro Menenzes Benicio, the man who stopped the Parnell Square attacker yesterday by hitting him with his motorcycle helmet. 

Caio’s helmet was taken by gardaí to examine for evidence, so he needs one to continue his work as a delivery driver. 

There are at least four GoFundMe fundraisers currently set up to give money to Caio, so we asked the company if these have all been verified to ensure the money will get to him. 

A spokesperson told us that GoFundMe’s Trust and Safety team is tracking the fundraisers to ensure that the money “can get directly to the beneficiary”. “This means that… donors can give to fundraisers for Caio with total confidence,” the spokesperson told The Journal. 

The biggest fundraising page is this one which has already raised more than €13,000 for Caio. A note on the page – which was set up to ‘buy him a pint’ – says that GoFundMe have added Caio as a beneficiary so that all of the money will be transferred directly to him. 

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We reported earlier how Dublin city centre is quiet and there are no signs of disturbances currently. My colleague Nicky Ryan, who is in the city centre, notes that there has been a visible increase in the number of gardaí walking around town in the last few hours. 

Barricades have been erected outside Leinster House and there are a significant number of gardaí on Kildare Street. No sign of any protesters there. 

Work is currently underway to repair overhead Luas lines and road surfaces damaged last night at O’Connell Street Bridge. 

Dublin City Council has said its Waste Management Services deployed a night crew of 29 staff at 3am following notification from An Garda Síochána that it was safe and crime scenes were reopened for access.

Various items of cleansing fleet were used by staff to begin the clean-up process, including road sweepers, grab trucks and side loaders.

“At 6am a further 134 staff and additional fleet were deployed to the city centre to take over from the night shift and continue the clean-up. Approximately 100 of these staff members were redeployed from other areas of the city to assist their city centre colleagues,” the council said. 

“Staff from Roads Maintenance Services have also been on the ground to deal with issues as they arose throughout the night and their work will continue throughout the day.” 

Social Democrats 002_90641009 Gary Gannon Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie / RollingNews.ie

Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon has expressed no confidence in Garda Commissioner Drew Harris following last night’s riots.

“The scenes of near anarchy in our capital city last night have no place in any civilised democracy,” Gannon, who represents Dublin Central, said. 

“Last night’s shocking events are the result of an absence of leadership – from both Garda management and Justice Minister Helen McEntee; a lack of planning or preparedness; inadequate resources; and insufficient training. There must be accountability for these failures,” he said. 

He added: “Last night’s catastrophic policing failure must be a watershed moment in how the State responds to future security threats. I have lost all confidence in Drew Harris’ ability to do that.

“The Minister must now explain why, given the violent mayhem in Dublin last night, she should remain in her role – and she must come into the Dáil at the earliest opportunity and do that.”

A number of shops and businesses have made the decision to close today or open late as a result of yesterday’s riots. 

Deliveroo has a note on its app outlining that “due to recent events, you might see fewer restaurants. We’ll be back to normal soon”. 

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The Luas that was damaged during last night’s riots is on the move, being towed back to the depot. 

Over 30 people have been called before Dublin District Court on theft and public order related charges after rioting and looting caused chaos on the streets of Dublin last night. 

Eimer McAuley reports that many people have already appeared before the court this morning, as judges across multiple courtrooms in the Criminal Courts of Justice heard the charges. 

In several cases, people have been charged with engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour, or using insulting language with intent to provoke a breach of the peace. 

People have also been charged with behaving recklessly in a manner which may have caused a breach of the peace. 

Bail has been granted in all cases so far, on the condition that the accused persons do not enter Dublin 1 or 2 for the duration of their court case, and that they do not participate in organised or unorganised gatherings. 

Exceptions have been made for some accused persons who are engaged in work in Dublin 1 and 2. 

People aged from their early twenties to those in their late fifties have appeared in court so far. 

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign has said it has taken the “difficult decision” to defer its march for Palestine due to take place tomorrow in light of yesterday’s violent events in Dublin. 

Need for 'high profile' policing

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said there must be a “high profile, sustained Garda presence on Dublin streets” after yesterday’s event. 

Dublin publicans praised the bravery of the members of An Garda Síochána who were involved in tackling the riots that broke out in the city, as well as those other members of the emergency services involved.

“We believe it is essential that the policing strategy is adjusted so that there is now a high profile, sustained Garda presence on Dublin streets throughout the city centre on a permanent basis,” said the LVA statement.

“This needs to be put in place immediately for the key trading period through to New Year, but it also has to amount to a lot more than a short-term response.

“That means maintaining the presence throughout 2024 and beyond.”

“This is also a very difficult and worrying time for those working in the city centre, especially those who have to work at night.

“Obviously a significant number of those people work in pubs and hospitality. It is essential that they are protected and they can feel safe in work, or travelling to and from work.”

The LVA also said it is “particularly concerned about how the many non-national people in our city must be feeling”.

May Lou McDonald has 'no confidence in Justice Minister or garda commissioner'

In a statement this afternoon, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said she today spoke to the principal of Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire.

She also commended “gardaí who put themselves in the danger to keep people safe” and expressed concern about last night’s rioting. 

“When small children lay in hospital being treated for horrific injuries, a mob fuelled by hate, who believe they are beyond the law, wreaked havoc on Dublin City.

“Their actions were disgraceful. Criminal. Everyone who participated should hang their heads in shame for what they brought upon this city and its people. They should face the full rigours of the law.”

She added that it was “obvious to most that the atmosphere in the city centre was deteriorating quickly” and that “the cold truth and the reality that we must confront is that the Gardaí lost control of the centre of our capital city”.

“The idea that this violence was unforeseeable is frankly nonsense. These hate filled mobs have threatened and brought violence to our streets before.

“Let me say it plainly – people do not feel safe in Dublin City Centre.

“I do not say the following lightly, but it must be said. I have no confidence in how Dublin is being policed. 

“The Gardaí have my full support but given the catastrophic operational failures last night, I have no confidence in the Justice Minister, and no confidence in the Garda Commissioner.”

Dublin City Council statement

Dublin City Council has expressed its sympathy to the families impacted by the events on Parnell Square yesterday afternoon and noted that Dublin Fire Brigade have been working throughout the night as a result of the rioting. 

It says efforts to clean up the city-centre are continuing this afternoon.

Operational staff from the waste management section have been on the ground since 3am this morning.

Between 6am and 9am, the number of staff deployed to clean the city-centre was trebled to more than 130 people and staff were redeployed from the suburbs to help. 

Meanwhile, the North and South Quays have now reopened, but O’Connell Street Northbound is still closed as is the west side of O’Connell Bridge.  

Public Lighting crews are in the city assessing the damage and repairing and replacing damaged infrastructure. 

Caio Benicio to receive a medal from Brazil for his bravery

Caio Benicio, who spoke to our reporter Eimer McAuley in the hours after he tackled the attacker on Parnell Square, has been able to retrieve his motorcycle after intervening to prevent yesterday’s attack. 

Meanwhile, more than €115,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe page for Caio.

The organiser of this fundraiser spoke to RTÉ’s Liveline today, saying he woke up and decided he wanted to buy Caio a pint for his heroics. 

He added that the Brazilian Embassy has been in touch about giving him a medal to honour his bravery yesterday.

river - 2023-11-24T154747.172 Caio Benicio. Eimer McAuley Eimer McAuley

PSNI to give two water cannons to gardaí

The PSNI has dispatched two water cannons following a “Mutual Aid request” from gardaí.

The PSNI say these “will be solely operated by An Garda Síochána officers”.

'Facial recognition technology must be part of future policing'

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote on Government legislation, Fine Gael Dáil Spokesperson on Justice Alan Farrell has said that body cam legislation will boost Garda safety and ensure they can pursue wrongdoer.

Farrell said this afternoon: “Following yesterday’s horrifying events, these modern tools are set to become all the more important for members of An Garda Síochána.

“The introduction of this technology will improve safety for Gardaí; and enhance the ability of Gardaí to identify and prosecute wrongdoers, while providing impartial and transparent evidence as to what Gardaí see.”

He added that yesterday’s “ominous events on both sides of the Liffey” means “facial recognition technology is back on the table as part of future policing solutions to ensure public safety”.

“There can be no further delays or avoidance of the issue. Our capital city can never witness the events we saw last night and our officers need every support and tool possible. This includes facial recognition technology and I make no apology for it. Let’s get it into legislation and implement it.” 

'Exploitation of tragic crime by far-right elements'

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission today said it is “extremely concerned at reports that people espousing far-right ideology sought to exploit the tragic crime which occurred on Parnell Square East yesterday, in order to foment anti-immigrant sentiment”.

Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney said: “The exploitation by far-right elements of social issues such as the housing crisis, or the accommodation of people seeking international protection in Ireland, has been a worrying trend for some time.

“It is critical that we, as a society, do not allow this hateful, divisive ideology to infect our communities and our politics. 

“So many of us, all around Ireland, have shown how welcoming we are to people from around the world who have come to live and work here. 

“We have to be vigilant, and work to ensure that this practical solidarity continues, and is not undermined by those who only seek to sow division and hate.

“The Commission extends its heartfelt sympathies to the children and care worker who were injured on Parnell Square East, and wishes them a full recovery.”

Gardaí prepare for possible unrest

Some images this evening of gardaí taking precautions to ensure there is no repeat of last night’s scenes of rioting throughout the city.

Garda preparations-1_90693797 Garda presence at the GPO

Garda preparations-3_90693798 Garda presence outside Leinster House Sam Boal / © RollingNews.ie Sam Boal / © RollingNews.ie / © RollingNews.ie

Justice Minister says she will not resign

Earlier today, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she has “no confidence” in Garda Commissioner Drew Harris or in Justice Minister Helen McEntee.

In the past few minutes, Justice Minister Helen McEntee told reporters that she will not resign. 

The Methodist Church in Ireland statement

The Methodist Church in Ireland is has condemned the actions of “far right elements” in the rioting last night. 

In a statement today, it said: “We are disgusted that there are those that sought to use this incident as an excuse for causing violence and disorder in the city.

“We are appalled at the actions of far right elements in our society who immediately used online networks to bring more people onto the streets to exercise aggression that made the city unsafe, destroyed property and infrastructure and endangered life.”

The Church has “called on the Minister of Justice, Garda Commissioner and our politicians to ensure a robust response”.

The statement adds: “The Methodist Church has previously spoken about the danger of racist language and aggression.

“We stand against all narratives that divide people on the basis of race and nationality or that undermine social cohesion and law and order. 

“We grapple with having seen our society at its ugliest and yet we have also seen the best in those who risked their personal safety by standing in the way of harm to the children.” 

More from Justice Minister Helen McEntee

Justice minister Helen McEntee said “there will absolutely be further arrests” following violent disorder in Dublin city centre yesterday.

34 people had been arrested yesterday and 32 of them appeared before the courts today.

She said gardaí were “trawling through” social media and CCTV footage.

She added: “I have no doubt that many people will be imprisoned after those horrific events yesterday.”

Minister Helen McEntee also said gardaí have all the resources necessary to keep people safe in Dublin over the weekend.

McEntee said: “This was a group of individuals who used this horrendous event as an opportunity to wreak havoc in our city, to sew division in our city, they will be responded to with force and gardaí responded in the most appropriate way.

“They have restored order to this city will continue to do so.”

The minister said she met with the senior Garda officers this evening.

“They have reassured me that every resource necessary to keep people safe in this city over the weekend is in place and will be in place as is needed and for as long as is needed.”

Largest deployment of gardaí in a public order situation

Helen McEntee also said the response to rioting saw the largest ever deployment of gardaí in a public order situation.

“We had the largest number of gardai in public order unit gear that has ever been deployed and this happened in a very short space of time.

“They managed to contain what was a very volatile situation into a very short area within our city centre.

“The scenes were absolutely horrific, I don’t think anyone thought they would see those kind of scenes in our main thoroughfare.”

F_tvetqWYAA0oVd Christina Finn / The Journal Christina Finn / The Journal / The Journal

'I have full confidence in Garda Commissioner'

Helen McEntee has also said she is happy to debate law and order issues with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and that she has “full confidence” in Drew Harris.

Responding to McDonald’s call for her and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to resign, McEntee said: “I have full confidence in the Garda Commissioner.

“If Sinn Féin wish to debate law and order, if Sinn Féin wish to debate how we can support the gardaí, I have no problem in standing over Fine Gael’s record of law and order, Fine Gael’s record of supporting members of An Garda Síochána.

“I do not believe Sinn Féin can stand over their record.”

Mattie McGrath calls on Helen McEntee to resign

Mattie McGrath, the leader of the Rural Independent Group, has this evening criticised the government for “refusing the Dáil Business Committee’s request to convene the Dáil on Monday morning”.

The purpose was to debate and have the Justice Minister answer questions regarding her handling of the crisis within An Garda Síochána and the street crime epidemic.

He said the events in Dublin yesterday were “deeply distressing” and call for a “candid and immediate debate in the Dáil”.

“We need to question the Justice Minister and get answers. The government clearly wants to avoid this debate,” said McGrath. 

“The Minister for Justice appears to be completely out of her depth and unwilling or unable to listen to the genuine concerns expressed by rank-and-file Gardaí in Dublin and nationwide.”

“People no longer feel safe in Dublin City. I have no confidence whatsoever in the Minister for Justice or the Garda Commissioner. Both should resign right away.”

mattie-mcgrath-speaks-at-a-press-conference-at-leinster-house-dublin-as-members-of-the-rural-independent-group-of-tds-outline-their-alternative-budget-proposals-picture-date-wednesday-october-4-2 Image of Mattie McGrath taken outside Leinster House last month. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Boris Johnson has his say on last night

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has labelled the violent scenes in Dublin “race riots”, and suggested that “achingly liberal” countries like Ireland now have concerns about the pace of immigration.

He used his weekly Daily Mail column to use disorder in Dublin to make the case for the UK to take tougher action to curb net migration.

Johnson also pointed to the electoral success of veteran anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

Writing in the newspaper, he said: “People will not accept demographic change at this kind of pace — even in the most achingly liberal of countries and capital cities.

“Look at what is happening in Dublin, where that lovely and happy city seems to have been engulfed by race riots.”

Johnson continued: “The people of Ireland and Holland, in my experience, are among the nicest, kindest, most generous in the world; and yet there are plainly large numbers in both countries who are starting to worry that something has gone wrong, and that the EU system of free movement has too many downsides.

“Well, the whole point of Brexit is that we are no longer in the same legal subservience as Ireland and Holland.” 

dublin-ireland-9th-sep-2019-boris-johnson-in-dublin-for-brexit-talks-pictured-is-british-prime-minister-boris-johnson-at-government-buildings-in-dublin-as-he-speaks-about-the-northern-ireland-bo Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured at Government Buildings in Dublin in 2019 Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Shop closures

Many shops and businesses in Mary Street and Henry Street have closed early for the night. 

Business as usual

Despite some shop closures, gardaí say Dublin is “open for normal business”. 

“We have an enhanced policing plan in place this evening,” say gardaí in a post on X.

O'Connell Street

Our reporter Nicky Ryan reporting from O’Connell Street, where gardaí appear to be on high alert.

Arrests made and strong garda presence

Good evening, Cormac Fitzgerald here taking over the liveblog.

There is a strong garda presence this evening on O’Connell Street. Footage taken by TheJournal reporter Nicky Ryan shows gardaí making a number of arrests. 

In a separate video, gardaí are also seen telling a number of young people to leave the area.

Ministers briefed on knife attack and last night's riots

Government ministers met this evening in relation to the attack on Parnell Street and the subsequent riots in Dublin City Centre.

In a statement this evening released by Government Information Services (GIS), Ministers expressed their concern for the victims of yesterday’s knife attack, “their families, communities and those caring for them”.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee informed ministers that An Garda Síochána have a definite line of inquiry and are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.

The statement continues:

“The Taoiseach and Minister McEntee updated Ministers on their meeting with the Garda Commissioner in Store Street Garda Station this afternoon.

“The Taoiseach and Ministers also paid tribute to the professionalism of the gardaí in restoring law and order in Dublin. Government strongly supports the work of the Commissioner and the gardaí in responding to this heinous violence.”

McEntee also briefed ministers on the arrests made last night, and said that gardaí are trawling 6,000 hours of CCTV footage and further arrests “are certain”.

The Justice Minister also said that the Recordings Devices Bill will be fast-tracked and enacted in the very near future, allowing body-worn cameras to come into use.

The Taoiseach also informed ministers that he had spoken with the principal of Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, the manager of the Children’s Place Nursery and Montessori, and representatives of the Dublin business community.

Photos from O’Connell Street this evening show a number of people being arrested as well as minor scuffles with gardaí taking place.

Despite this, there are no signs as of yet of last night’s unrest being repeated, with a strong garda presence visible on the streets.

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Garda preparations-14

Garda preparations-10 Sam Boal Sam Boal

GoFundMe page for vitims of knife attack reaches over €100k

A GoFundMe page set up for the victims of yesterday’s attack has made over €125,000.

The donation page was set up in the wake of the attack.

“Hi, I am looking to raise funds to support the children and the carer in Gaelscoil Colaiste Mhuire who were victims of a horrific attack at their school on the 23rd of November by a stranger with a knife as the children were leaving school to be collected by their parents,” the page organiser said.

This is a small Gaelscoil (all Irish school) in the heart of Dublin City Centre and is almost like a small family and this attack has shocked parents, students and the whole school staff to their core and your help and support would be greatly appreciated at this time.

The organiser said all funds raised would go directly to the carer and the school and children affected by the attack.

More photos of the Garda presence in the city this evening. This image from our reporter Nicky Ryan shows the Garda Mounted Unit in place at the bottom Grafton Street.

An analysis published on TheJournal reporters Órla Ryan, Niall O’Connor, Shane Raymond and Nicky Ryan examines the timeline of events yesterday, from the vicious attack on Parnell Square in the afternoon, to the subsequent riots and looting that followed.

The article examines how the spreading of right-wing, anti-immigrant disinformation and misinformation helped to foment a divisive atmosphere and increase tensions, before it all boiled over.

From the article:

“PEOPLE IN IRELAND and beyond watched in shock as violent scenes unfolded in Dublin city yesterday – first a horrific stabbing, then rioting in the streets.

But what exactly happened and how did the situation escalate?

To understand that, we have to explore both what happened yesterday and also what has been happening online in the months preceding it in terms of anti-immigration rhetoric.”

You can read the full in-depth analysis here.

Patrick Kielty has addressed last night’s attack in Dublin during the intro to this year’s Late Late Toy Show. 

Speaking at the start of the show, Kielty said:

“Given the events of the last 24 hours it is important to remember what this time of year is all about. We’re thinking of every family that needs an extra hug tonight.”

This is Kielty’s first year at the helm of the flagship TV show, following the departure of Ryan Tubridy.

And that’s it from us for tonight. A quieter evening in Dublin, with an increased Garda presence visible on the streets.

We’ll be back tomorrow to provide you with all the latest updates on yesterday’s attack and last night’s riots in Dublin.

Until then, stay safe.