Riots in Dublin after stabbing near school - as police car and buses set on fire during 'far-right' protests

Police said a "complete hooligan lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology" was behind violent protests in Dublin after three young children were injured in a stabbing outside a primary school.

Rioters let off flares and fireworks at police as one of the children, a five-year-old schoolgirl, and a woman in her 30s, described as a "member of staff caring for her", are being treated in hospital for serious injuries.

Officers with riot shields held back crowds in the city centre where a police car was set on fire amid anger over the stabbings in Parnell Square East.

A Luas tram and several buses were set on fire on O'Connell Street in the city centre and a bus and car were torched on O'Connell Bridge.

Sky News' Ireland correspondent Stephen Murphy saw people looting a Foot Locker store in the city during the chaos. He also saw people smashing the front of an Asics store with metal bars.

Rioters attempted to kick and punch police and there were ongoing scuffles, with bottles being thrown.

A Garda public order unit was deployed to control the disorder.

Police believe stabbing was 'standalone attack'

A suspect has been detained in relation to the stabbings and police have said they are not treating the attack as terror-related.

However, the force added they are not "ruling out any motive".

In a press conference earlier, Superintendent Liam Geraghty told the media the five-year-old girl was receiving "emergency medical treatment" after the stabbings. He also said the stabbing spree appeared to be a "standalone attack".

A five-year-old boy, a six-year-old girl and a man in his 50s were treated in hospital for less serious injuries, SI Geraghty said. The boy was later discharged from the Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin Hospital.

People urged to ignore 'misinformation' after 'serious violence'

Following the rioting, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has told journalists outside Mountjoy Garda Station: "I think there's disgraceful scenes in terms of a major investigation, the maintenance of a scene and the gathering of evidence.

"We have a complete lunatic hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology, and also then this disruptive tendency engaged in serious violence.

"We are drafting in resources to deal with that and that will be dealt with properly. I've given full direction to our resources here in respect of making arrests and bringing offenders to justice.

"It's our responsibility to make sure that we police the streets, and part of that is we ask people to act responsibly and not to listen to the misinformation and rumour that is circulating on social media.

"The facts are being established, but the facts are still not clear on a lot of the rumour and the innuendo is being spread for malevolent purposes."

Chief Superintendent Patrick McMenamin described the violent protests as "gratuitous thuggery".

He said 400 officers were involved in the police response to the protests at the height of the operation, and that some officers were assaulted during the incident.

However, he said there were no reports of any serious injuries being suffered by officers and no reports of serious injuries made by members of the public.

Mr McMenamin said Dublin city centre was "now calm" and "returning to normal", but that police would "continue to monitor" the situation.

The Rotunda Hospital, a maternity facility located near the site of the stabbing, urged people not to travel to the hospital "unless necessary" while the protests were ongoing.

'Thuggish and manipulative element' blamed for riots

In a statement, Irish justice minister Helen McEntee said: "The horrific attack today in Dublin city centre was an appalling crime that has shocked us all.

"An Garda Siochana are following a definite line of inquiry and are not looking for anyone else regarding this crime. The perpetrator will be brought to justice.

"However, the scenes we are witnessing this evening in our city centre cannot and will not be tolerated.

"A thuggish and manipulative element must not be allowed use an appalling tragedy to wreak havoc."

Irish President Michael D Higgins said after the stabbings and rioting: "All of our thoughts are with each of the children and their families affected by today's horrific attack outside Gaelscoil Coláiste Mhuire in Dublin city centre.

"We are particularly thinking of the five-year-old girl and the member of staff caring for her who are both in serious condition in hospital.

"All of our prayers are with each of them for a full recovery... This appalling incident is a matter for the Gardaí and that it would be used or abused by groups with an agenda that attacks the principle of social inclusion is reprehensible and deserves condemnation by all those who believe in the rule of law and democracy."

'Eyewitnesses played a huge role' in stopping stabbing

Sky's Murphy said witnesses have told police they saw a man, who was reportedly wielding a knife, "attack several young people" as they left school during the stabbings earlier.

The school is an Irish-speaking primary school where all students would do lessons in Irish.

"It appears that bystanders and eyewitnesses have played a huge role in bringing this incident to a halt," Murphy said.

"Witnesses have spoken of seeing several bystanders become involved to try and intervene and restrain this man."

One man, a Deliveroo driver, told Irish media how he hit the alleged attacker with his motorcycle helmet.

"I didn't even make a decision, it was pure instinct, and it was all over in seconds," Caio Benicio told The Journal.

"He fell to the ground, and other people stepped in."

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Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Ireland's opposition party Sinn Fein and a representative of Dublin Central, told Sky News: "The community is numbed and horrified.

"This is the last thing you expect to happen on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of Dublin city.

"It's a great school community and people's hearts are with the children who have been traumatised and those who have been injured."

In a post on social media website X, Ms McDonald also named the school affected as Gael Cholaiste Mhuire.