Dublin stabbings: Deliveroo driver stops knife attacker

Caio Benicio was riding past the scene of the attack when he stopped to intervene

A fast-food courier who saw children being stabbed outside their school in Dublin has described how he helped to stop the attacker.

Three children and a school care assistant were injured in the stabbing on Thursday in Dublin city centre.

Caio Benicio, a fast-food courier, was riding past the scene and stopped to intervene.

"I didn't think about being brave - instinct just kicked in," he told BBC News NI.

It happened outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, a primary school in the city centre at about 13:40 local time.

Two of the injured are critically ill, including a five-year-old girl and the school care assistant, who is in her 30s.

The knife attack was followed by hours of rioting in Dublin city centre, which left several police officers injured, one seriously.

Mr Benicio, a father-of-two from Brazil, has been living in the Republic of Ireland for the past year and works as a fast-food courier for Deliveroo.

"I realised there was a little girl involved and a man just pulled the girl from the woman - I found out later she was a teacher and she was very, very brave," he said.

His role in stopping the knife attack was first reported in The Journal.

'I acted on instinct'

"He grabbed the girl and he pulled out a knife," he said.

"When I saw the knife I stopped my bike straight away. I didn't think if I'm afraid or brave or not. I acted on instinct."

It all happened "quickly".

Mr Benicio told BBC News NI he took off his helmet and hit the man on the head strongly and he fell down.

THE JOURNAL Caio BenicioTHE JOURNAL

He said the scenes were still stuck in his mind.

"I am just praying for the girl to make it and for good news."

He said the emergency services came quickly.

'I am an immigrant'

Mr Benicio has been praised and called a hero - but it is not a label he would choose for himself.

"I am a dad with two kids and I was in the right place at the right time.

"You see a man with a knife with a little girl - there is nothing else to do. You just have to act," he added.

In the aftermath of the attack violence and riots broke out.

"I don't have a lot of knowledge of what's going on in Ireland.

"People say the protests are against immigrants. I am an immigrant myself and I was the one to help," he said.

"They might have used the attack in the morning as an excuse to do what they did," he added.

Charles McQuillan Caio BenicioCharles McQuillan
Caio Benicio, pictured at the cordon near the scene of the stabbing, is originally from Brazil

Mr Benicio feels happy and safe living in Dublin.

"I know some people complain about the treatment of immigrants but for me it has never happened to me," he added.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar paid tribute to all those who stepped in to help, saying they "risked their lives to save lives".

He said the school care assistant "threw herself in harm's way" to protect the children, and he described the woman as heroic.

He also pointed out that "those who intervened weren't just from Ireland - they were from other countries as well".

"They are real Irish heroes, whatever their nationality," added the taoiseach.