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Following the arrest of 34 individuals after a “far-right” mob’s violent rampage in Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has pledged to take strong action.
Describing the incident as a “shame on Ireland,” Varadkar committed on Friday to employing the “full resources of the law” to penalize the offenders and tighten legislation against hate and incitement. The violence erupted in central Dublin, where cars were burned, and riot police were attacked following a knife attack by a migrant at a school that left a five-year-old girl seriously injured.
The prime minister condemned the violence, stating, “Those involved brought shame on Dublin, brought shame on Ireland and brought shame on their families and themselves.” Varadkar emphasized that the rioters’ actions were driven by hate, not patriotism, and declared, “As a country, we need to reclaim Ireland.” He assured that the government would use every legal means to punish those involved and announced plans to modernize laws regarding hate and incitement.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, Ireland’s top police officer, attributed the unrest to “a complete lunatic hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology.” He described the incident as an “extraordinary outbreak of violence,” the likes of which Ireland hasn’t seen in decades. Harris also mentioned that police are investigating a possible “terrorist” link.
In the wake of the violence, which included property damage and looting, public transport in Dublin was suspended, and many businesses advised employees to work from home. The government is also reviewing security measures around the parliament following a recent protest that trapped MPs inside.