An attack in Dublin City Centre near a school has left at least three children with stab injuries.
Gardai were called to the scene after reports of an attack at Parnell Square East around 1pm.
The children have been taken to hospital, with one child in a critical condition.
A man was arrested and a large knife seized, with reports saying a passer-by tackled the attacker.
All lanes nearby are closed off as Emergency Services are on the scene. Locals and news media reported that children from a nearby school were targeted. Dozens of Gardaí and medical workers are on the scene currently.
A spokesperson for the Gardai said:
“An Garda Síochána are investigating all the circumstances of a serious public order incident which occurred on Parnell Square East, shortly after 1.30pm this afternoon Thursday, 23rd November 2023.
“Five (5) casualties have been taken to various hospitals in the Dublin Region. The casualties include an adult male, an adult female and three (3) young children.
“One child, a girl, has sustained serious injuries, the other two children are being treated for less serious injuries. An Garda Síochána is in contact with parents of all three injured children.
“The adult female is being treated for serious injuries and the adult male for less serious injuries.
“The scene remains sealed off at this time.
“An Garda Síochána is following a definite line of inquiry.
“An Garda Síochána is not looking for any other person at this time.
“There is no further information.”
Anger and despair
There was a palpable sense of despair and anger among the large crowds on the O’Connell Street and North King Street ends of the east side of Parnell Square. Eyewitnesses claimed they were certain it was a foreign man. It is too early to confirm the identity and the Gardaí statement made no claims in this regard.
Women and children are in tears around the Garda barriers, and locals are vocally expressing their outrage at the events.
People on the scene said the following to our reporters:
“My kids are in the same school and now I have to tell them that maybe one of their friends were attacked. My heart is broken.”
“It was a foreign man who attacked several kids who are in serious trouble.”
“This is disgraceful, I have lived here all my life and never seen anything on this level of evil. What is happening to this country.”
According to a man who spoke to a witness of the attack:
“She was fucking balling, her and her fella. She said she saw a fucking kid on the ground — lifeless.”
“That this fucking foreign fella took out a big knife and just started stabbing all the kids outside the school. The teacher tried stopping him.”
“Two fellas came over and got him and fucking danced on him.”
“People are walking around the road fucking balling their eyes out.”
The nationality of the attacker has yet to be confirmed by Gardaí. The Burkean asks those online to not speculate as to the national origin of the attacker without substantive evidence.
Story still developing.