The rioters have been able to operate in Dublin city centre “without consequence” for years, Garry Gannon has claimed.
Since violence broke out yesterday, dozens of arrests have been made and a number of men have already appeared in court.
“We’re just numb,” he said.
“Nobody can put words to the actions and depravity of hacking innocent children on the way out of schools.
“I just can’t find words for that.”
Deputy Gannon also had withering words for those who went on to riot and loot in the city centre.
“What we saw last night on the streets were absolute thugs who have absolutely been operating in the city centre of Dublin over the last two years and operating without consequence,” he said.
“I don’t doubt for a second that some of the store owners recognised these thugs because many of them took of this terrible situation we’ve seen yesterday and brought groups of people onto the street with just the intention of wrecking the place.
“I notice the Garda Commissioner still refers to them as protestors, these are not protestors.
“They’re not protesting going in and looting a Footlocker and smashing up a McDonalds… These are thugs.”
Deputy Gannon described the those Gardaí who worked during the riot as “absolute heroes” but he was critical of some of the operation decisions made.
“From half two yesterday, every Gardaí in the country should have been getting sent towards Dublin.
“The fact that that didn’t seem to kick in until around six or seven by the time it was too late, that’s a failure of operational intelligence.”
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald, who also represents Dublin Central, has said also she no longer has “confidence” in Garda Commissioner Drew Harris or Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
Commissioner Harris has said there was "no failure" on the part of Gardaí in their response to the violence.
Main image: Gardaí arrest a member of the public on O'Connell Street in Dublin. Photograph: Sam Boal / © RollingNews.ie