Police said a “hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology” was behind violent protests in Dublin Thursday night that erupted after five people — including three children — were injured in a knife attack.
Violent scenes occurred in the city center, with a police car and tram set on fire and officers attacked. According to local media, some of the protesters chanted anti-immigrant slogans.
Police Commissioner Drew Harris said “a complete lunatic, hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology” was behind the disorder, the Irish Independent reported.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee appealed for “calm” and condemned attacks on police. “We will not tolerate a small number using an appalling incident to spread division,” she said, according to the Irish Times.
The stabbings happened in the early afternoon outside a school at Parnell Square East in the city center. Police said a five-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 50s sustained serious injuries, with the girl receiving emergency medical treatment. A five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were treated for less severe injuries. Police have detained a man in his 50s.
Police initially ruled out a terrorist motive for the attack, but police chief Harris said later that all possible motives were still in play.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on social media that he had been “shocked” at news of the stabbing.