'Conflation' of issues led to Dublin riots, says Simon Harris

'Conflation' Of Issues Led To Dublin Riots, Says Simon Harris
Opposition politicians have called for the resignation of Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Photo: PA Images
Share this article

Cillian Sherlock and Jonathan McCambridge, PA

A Government Minister said there will be a “full review” into the policing of Thursday night’s Dublin riots, which followed a stabbing attack in the city centre.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said “quite a lot” will need to change.


Garda cars, a bus and a luas were set alight, shops damaged and looted and officers attacked during violent scenes, which involved far-right elements.

It came shortly after three children and a women were hurt in the stabbing attack outside a school in the north city centre.

Fine Gael party think-in
Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris. Photo: PA.


Opposition politicians have called for the resignation of Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

Mr Harris said: “What happened on Thursday was the most despicable, horrific attack on democracy, on our city and on the institutions of the State, and it will be met with a full response and there will have to be a review.”

Mr Harris, who previously served as minister for justice, said there had been a “very significant conflation” of issues and the riot was not just a “far-right gathering”.

He said: “We had the horrific, despicable attack on children and care workers on Parnell Square, and we think of all of them; we then saw a far-right gathering, if I may call it that; we then saw absolute opportunistic criminality and thuggery.”


He added: “I don’t think we can conflate each of those issues.”

Speaking to RTÉ radio, he said the scale and speed at which Thursday’s events unfolded was unprecedented and unforeseen: “It happened in real time. It happened in rapid speed and the gardaí responded and responded in force.

“But it is also fair to say that the far right have been trying to sow division in this country and communities right across the country for a significant period of time.”

Dublin city centre incident
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the scene of the stabbing in Dublin city centre. Photo: PA.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said people do not feel safe in parts of Dublin’s inner city.

She repeated her call for Ms McEntee and Mr Harris to quit.

“The events were unprecedented, the viciousness of the attack on the young children and the childcare worker, and then the ensuing violence, which was predictable, which was organised, which was not the first occasion upon which violence had been instigated by some of these elements,” she told the BBC.


“This is just part of a wider pattern that has been the reality for the last year, the last 18 months, in truth probably since the Covid lockdown.

“The truth is the Minister and the Commissioner have failed to resource the gardaí correctly. They have failed to bring forward plans for the safety of citizens.

“We now have a scenario where people do not feel safe in parts of Dublin’s inner city – that includes children going to school, their parents and grandparents dropping them off, it includes people going to work, people who visit the city, and we are now at a point where the position of the Minister and the Commissioner are simply untenable.”

She added: “There is an absolute unified demand across the capital city that we are safe on our streets and in our communities.

“The days of excuses or dodging the realities on the ground by the Minister, by the Government or by the Garda Commissioner are over.

“People have been patient with them.”

She added: “We have asked for resources, we have asked for planning, we have asked for leadership, and those in charge have failed, and now they have to be held to account and we move to resourcing the gardaí, resourcing our communities and ensuring that children can go to school safely and that people can go about their lives in the capital city without fear of the violence that we saw.”

Ms McDonald has said the garda should have had a plan which would have “nipped in the bud” an assembly of people who rioted in Dublin city centre.

She said: “That didn’t happen. Some of that was around resources and capacity, others, it seemed, were around decision-making and leadership.”

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com