Have-a-go heroes praised for tackling knifeman in mass stabbing of children

Dublin: Witness shares details of serious incident

Have-a-go heroes who stepped in during a “traumatic” knife attack in Dublin city centre have been praised by the police.

Three children, a woman in her 30s and a man were injured in the horrific assault in Parnell Square East on Thursday afternoon (November 23).

A five-year-old girl has been undergoing emergency treatment for her injuries while the two other children, a boy aged five and girl, six, sustained less serious injuries, according to Irish police.

Supt Liam Geraghty from An Garda Siochana told reporters that members of the public intervened at an early stage in the attack.

He added: “We would applaud them for getting involved in such a traumatic and potentially dangerous situation for themselves.”

Siobhan Kearney said she witnessed what she believes was a man attacking children, describing what she saw as “absolutely bedlam”.

Ms Kearney told Irish broadcaster RTE she watched people disarm a man who she said had a knife, adding: “I looked across the road and I see the man and the stabbing motion with a load of children so I flew across the road.

“The man was after stabbing two children as far as I could make out, and we got the children up to the left with the women that were there, and the teachers I presume.

“People were trying to attack the man so me and an American lady, we formed a ring around the man, just to say that we’re not savages in this country. Then we let the Garda do their duty.”

Ms Kearney added: “A lovely young man was brave enough to tackle him and took the knife out of his hand. It landed on the ground and a guy on a bike got the knife and threw it across on the green.”

She added that about three minutes later an ambulance came for the children and then another arrived along with officers who came for the man on the ground.

Garda said the man, who sustained serious injuries, is a person of interest to their investigation. They also ruled out any terrorist link.

The scene is close to Irish language-medium primary school Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire.

In his update to reporters, Supt Geraghty said: “An Garda Siochana continue to investigate all of the circumstances of a serious assault which occurred on Parnell Square East shortly after 1.30pm this afternoon.

“Preliminary indications are that a male attacked a number of people on Parnell Square East. Five casualties have been taken to hospitals in the Dublin region.

“These casualties include three young children, an adult female and an adult male. One girl, aged five years, has sustained serious injuries and is currently receiving emergency medical treatment in CHI Temple Street.”

The senior officer said the police were following a definite line of inquiry, adding: “The male in his 50s is a person of interest to An Garda Siochana in this investigation and An Garda Siochana is not looking for any other person at this time.”

Supt Geraghty said he felt satisfied “there is no terror-related activity or related to any wider aspects in relation to this matter”.

He said: “It would appear to be a standalone attack and we need to determine the reasons behind that.”

The officer said his understanding is that a knife was used.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “We are all shocked by the incident which has taken place in Parnell Square. A number of people have been injured, some of them children.

“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to them and their families.”

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