The Dublin rioters were like a violent version of the dancing ‘flash mobs’ that used to flood social media, actor Liam Cunningham has told The Pat Kenny Show.
The 'Game of Thrones' star said the “thuggery” on show during the riots was inexcusable but warned that it is not difficult to understand the anger in many communities.
He said the ‘social contract is broken’ in Ireland, noting that when a teacher can’t afford to live in Dublin, eventually you’ll find there is nobody to teach your kids.
“Do you remember the flash mobs?” he said.
“In the early days of social media, when Facebook started kicking off, people would show up at train stations and start dancing and people would be saying, where the hell did this crowd come from?
“This was the equivalent of a flash mob that was brought on by social media, you know, with various people saying, ‘Get down here, it's all kick kicking off’ and all that.”
Quoting housing expert Rory Hearne, he noted that “when you’ve got a disaffected youth, they're looking for any chance to explode their anger”.
“In some cases, as we saw, that involved the lunacy of breaking into shops and all that sort of stuff and there was a thuggish element,” he said.
He said the “social contract is broken” in Ireland.
“The average prices of accommodation in Dublin, the incredible statistic is that starting off pay for a teacher, the average price of accommodation in in Dublin is 105% [of that].
“It's more than all the money a teacher can earn just to get accommodation in Dublin.
“There's 800 primary school positions that they can't fill. We don't have enough people to teach our kids because they can't afford to be teachers."
He agreed that what happens in the classroom is hugely influential to young people's development.
“It's about education,” he said. “It's teaching people community and to get on with their [lives], you know, and if you're going to have 50, 60 or 70 kids to a class, they're not going to be able to pay attention.
“So, the social contract is broken. This does not excuse the behaviour but, as the fella said, it may explain to some extent that, when you break the social contract, there's a payment for it.”
Cunningham said immigrants are an easy target for people aiming to stir up trouble.
“I remember when I was in a motorcycle club, the RDMC, the Rahenian District Motorcycle Club and when we went out on a bike, you couldn't get into a pub,” he said.
“It was 'Bikers not allowed' all over the place because they thought we were Hell's Angels, because the Hells Angels were big at the time.
“These were fellas, I was working in the ESB, there were accountants beside me, plumbers and businessmen and all of that – but they wouldn't let you into the pub because they considered you a thug of some description.
“You know what it is, it's very simple, psychologically, it's the easily identifiable minority and somewhere to point their anger at.
“This does not excuse what these people did and the thuggery that went on.”
Cunningham also discussed 'Game of Thrones', his new Netflix Show and the ongoing war in Palestine in his wide-ranging interview with Pat.
You can listen back here: