'Disorder, riots and looting' in Dublin results in 34 arrests - Commissioner Harris

In response to riots in Dublin City Centre last night, 32 people will be brought before the Courts of Criminal Justice this morning.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

10.57 24 Nov 2023

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'Disorder, riots and looting'...

'Disorder, riots and looting' in Dublin results in 34 arrests - Commissioner Harris

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

10.57 24 Nov 2023

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Some 34 people have been arrested over the "disorder, riots, and looting," in Dublin City Centre last night, the Garda Commissioner has said.

Commissioner Harris said 32 of those arrested will appear before the courts this morning.

The riots broke out after protesters gathered at the scene of a knife attack on three young children and a teacher near a school on Parnell Square became violent.


Commissioner Harris said the scenes in the city were “disgraceful” with 13 shops subjected to looting or "severe" damage.

Damage done to Foot Locker on O'Connell Street last night. @Barrywhyte85

Amid the chaos, three Garda Patrol Cars were set ablaze and completely destroyed.

Three buses were also set on fire and destroyed as well as a Luas tram.

Eight other Garda vehicles were badly damaged.

A number of Gardaí were injured in the violence including one who is being treated for serious injuries in hospital this morning.

Commissioner Harris condemned the “huge destruction from a riotous mob” around the city.

“[They] were in effect responding to our crime scene and trying to break into that crime scene and disrupt it from about 5.30pm,” he said.

“From there on, the violence escalated. Order was restored from between 8:30-9pm as we deployed more resources.”

Double-decker Dublin Bus destroyed by flames. @Barrywhyte85

Over 400 Gardaí were deployed in the city during the violence, including frontline uniformed Gardaí.

They were supported by over 250 Public Order Gardaí.

Commissioner Harris said he believes An Garda Síochána responded “extraordinarily well” to the situation.

“We could not have anticipated in response to a terrible crime, the stabbing of school children and their teacher, that this would be the response,” he said.

“Also, those filled with hate, and the hate directed towards members of An Garda Síochána, would attempt to storm through our cordon and disrupt the crime scene.”

The Garda commissioner said that “nobody could have anticipated” the subsequent public reaction to the knife attack earlier in the day.

Mr Harris added the Garda response will be proportionate:

“We have seen a group of people who have literally taken a thimbleful of facts and make a bath-full of hateful assumptions and then conduct themselves in a way that is riotous and disruptive to our society,” he said.

“We then have to respond to that in terms of our tactics and training, but there’s no failure here.

“This is regrettably how protests have moved on and we have to graduate and have a proportionate response."

Formal Investigation

An Garda Síochána has commenced a formal investigation into all of the circumstances of the Violent Disorder and Public Order events that occurred on Thursday, 23rd November.

An incident room has been established at Store Street Garda Station and a Senior Investigating Officer has been appointed.

The destruction of a Luas train in Dublin City Centre last night. @Barrywhyte85

An Garda Síochána are also in the process of collating and harvesting CCTV and social media images from the events yesterday.

Commissioner Harris confirmed that "many more arrests" will take place over the coming days in relation to the events of last night.

He added that Gardaí are expecting more protests in the days ahead and are actively working on tactics to deal with them.

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