Dublin Worker Talks of Panic as Looters Descend on Shop
Written by Nisha Cullen on 27th November 2023
A student working in Dublin has spoken of the ‘panic’ as staff and shoppers were placed in lockdown while looters destroyed buildings and vehicles in a series of riots.
Last week’s riots occurred after a stabbing in the city left five people injured, including three young children.
Those behind the ensuing looting, arson and violence were described by the Garda (police) as a “lunatic, hooligan faction driven by a far-right ideology”.
Anna Kelly, 19, a university student working and living in the city centre, said: “There’s a gloomy, apocalyptic atmosphere over Dublin right now.”
It was her first day working in Parfois in Jervis Shopping Centre when the riots broke out and she was locked in the shop along with other staff and shoppers waiting for the all-clear. The shopping centre was broken into and ransacked by looters. Miss Kelly, her colleagues and shoppers, had to run upstairs and lock themselves in.
She said: “Everyone was panicking.”
Thirteen shops in the city were vandalised, and 11 Garda vehicles, three buses and a Luas tram were destroyed during the riots. Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, said there was “huge destruction from a riotous mob” during the riots.
On Thursday, shortly after 1:30 pm, five people, including three children, were injured in a stabbing outside a school around Parnell Square in Dublin City Centre.
Among the injured was a five-year-old girl, who has sustained serious injuries and is currently receiving medical treatment, along with a woman in her 30s. A boy, aged five, as well as a girl, aged six, received less serious injuries and the boy was discharged from hospital shortly after.
Also injured was a man, aged in his late 40s, who is believed to be the suspect. Far-right anti-immigration groups were quick to put out the false narrative that the man was an Algerian immigrant, and used the situation to begin riots in the city centre.
Anna, who was able to leave safely after the chaos on the North side of Dublin subsided, said: “I found my friends and we walked through the city back home, the same walk we always take but nothing felt normal.”
“I have never felt an atmosphere like that in my life, it didn’t feel like Ireland and I am certainly not proud of my town or my country tonight.”
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said in a press conference: “As a country we need to reclaim Ireland, we need to take it away from the cowards who hide behind masks and try to terrify us with violence.”
Locals have been reassured that Dublin is safe as street cleaners band together to try and clean up the city.