Dublin riot: More arrests 'certain' as police look at CCTV

PA Media/Brian Lawless A bus and car on fire on O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre after violent scenesPA Media/Brian Lawless
A bus and car were set on fire on O'Connell Street on Thursday evening

Further arrests of people involved in Thursday's riot in Dublin are certain as police continue to trawl through 6,000 hours of CCTV footage, Irish ministers have been told.

The riot began after three children and a school care assistant were injured in a knife attack outside a school.

Vehicles were set on fire and shops looted in the disorder.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the most riot police in Irish history were deployed to deal with the violence.

On Friday night, it was reported that she briefed fellow ministers that Irish police were looking through hours of CCTV and would be certain to arrest more individuals.

Earlier, she defended the police's response after Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of the largest opposition party Sinn Féin, said she had no confidence in either Ms McEntee or the head of the Irish police, Drew Harris.

Speaking on Friday, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said about 500 people were involved in the disorder.

He said they had "brought shame" on Ireland and promised new laws within weeks to bring those involved to justice.

Mr Harris blamed the rioting on a "lunatic, hooligan faction driven by a far-right ideology".

Officers arrested 34 people after vehicles were set on fire and shops looted, with many of those who were arrested appearing in court on Friday on a variety of offences including possession of weapons and stolen property.

RTÉ Two Police Service of Northern Ireland water cannon travelled to Dublin on Friday after a request from Irish policeRTÉ
Two Police Service of Northern Ireland water cannon travelled to Dublin on Friday after a request from Irish police

A major police presence remained in Dublin city centre on Friday night, with officers making several arrests on O'Connell Street after sporadic altercations.

An Garda Siochána (Irish police) also received two water cannon from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for potential use in any further disturbances.

What happened in the Dublin stabbings?

A five-year-old girl and a school staff member who "used her body as a shield" were hurt in the attack after 13:40 local time on Thursday. The little girl remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The attack happened outside the children's school, Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, in the city centre.

It is understood that a group of young children were lining up when they were stabbed by a man.

Map of Dublin city centre

Several members of the public helped subdue the attacker, including a Brazilian food delivery driver who used his bike helmet to fight off the attacker.

A man in his late 40s who was also seriously injured is a person of interest, according to police. They said they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the attack.

In a statement, the school said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the incident and that its thoughts were with the pupils and creche worker who were injured.

How did the Dublin riot develop?

Just hours after the knife attack, rioters destroyed 11 police vehicles, while 13 shops were badly damaged and more were looted during clashes with riot police.

Three buses and a tram were also destroyed and several police officers were injured during more than three hours of sustained violence.

The "extraordinary outbreak of violence" had come after "hateful assumptions" were made based on material circulating online in the wake of the stabbings, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said.

It is understood that included false claims that the attacker was a foreign national.

Sources have indicated to the BBC that the man suspected of carrying out the attack is an Irish citizen who has lived in the country for 20 years.

"These are scenes that we have not seen in decades," said the garda commissioner.

Irish President Michael D Higgins said Thursday night's violence "deserves condemnation by all those who believe in the rule of law and democracy".