Flares and fireworks at a crime scene: How the chaos in Dublin began

Flares And Fireworks At A Crime Scene: How The Chaos In Dublin Began
Dublin city centre incident, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Riots that broke out across Dublin’s city centre began as a heated demonstration at the scene of a tragic incident earlier on Thursday.

Three young children and a woman were injured in a knife attack outside a school on Parnell Square East, which has been severely condemned across Ireland.


A demonstration at the edge of the police cordon at the scene began from the early afternoon and escalated as the evening went on.

A crowd of between 100 and 200 people, some of whom wore scarves to cover their faces, confronted gardaí verbally before clashes erupted with riot police.

Dublin city centre incident
An Garda Síochána at the scene in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)


Tricolours and an “Irish lives matter” sign were held by some who were present.

Fireworks and flares were thrown at police, and just before 7pm, a Garda car was seen alight near the scene.

People picked up furniture from nearby and were seen smashing it on the ground, some of whom appeared to be minors.

Several small pushes were made by riot police down O’Connell Street and away from the scene, which appeared to temporarily scatter those gathered before they returned to confront police again.


An empty Luas tram that had been left at a stop nearby had its windows smashed and was set on fire, before a major push by riot police down O’Connell Street.

Some onlookers sheltered in a hotel lobby until the garda effort had moved down towards O’Connell Bridge – where a car and a bus were set alight.

Dublin Fire Brigade tackled the flames that had engulfed the Luas, as well as nearby buses, once they reached the scene.

Rioters were also seen on nearby Henry Street, a major shopping thoroughfare, looting a Footlocker shoe store.


People threw bottles at gardaí on the famous Dublin street, while others carried metal bars and smashed shop windows.

Smoke from bus and car fires filled the air while a Garda helicopter monitored the situation overhead.

The violence has been condemned by the Justice Minister Helen McEntee and the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

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