Water cannon ‘available’ for Gardaí in case of further unrest in Dublin

Water cannon ‘available’ for Gardaí in case of further unrest in Dublin
The PSNI use a water cannon on the Springfield road, during further unrest in Belfast. Picture date: Thursday April 8, 2021.

Use of a water cannon is “an available tactic” for gardaí in the event of further disturbances in Dublin later.

There were chaotic scenes on Thursday evening – which involved far-right elements – with Garda cars, buses, and trams set alight, and shops looted and damaged after a knife attack on three children and their care assistant outside a school in the north inner city.

Some 34 people were arrested during the scenes on the capital’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, and gardaí are trawling 6,000 hours of CCTV footage from the night.

Friday night saw quieter scenes on O’Connell Street amid a heavy garda presence.


Dublin city centre incident
Garda outside the General Post Office on O’Connell Street in Dublin following violent scenes in the city centre on Thursday evening (David Young/PA)

A garda spokesperson said a small number of people were arrested for public order incidents.

On Saturday cafés on O’Connell Street had erected signs indicating they planned to close at 7pm.


A pro-Palestine protest that had been due to take place in the area on Saturday was postponed following the rioting on Thursday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has loaned An Garda Síochána two water cannon following a request for mutual aid from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

Available tactic

They will solely be operated by members of An Garda Síochána if deployed.

A Garda spokesperson said: “Training has taken place to refresh previously trained operators and water cannons are now an available tactic to public order operational commanders for An Garda Síochána.


“Commissioner Harris thanks the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and all PSNI personnel involved for their offer of assistance and rapid response to his request.”

Dublin city centre incident
A bus on fire on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre after violent scenes unfolded following an attack on Parnell Square East (Brian Lawless/PA)

A five-year-old girl injured in the knife attack outside a school remained in a critical condition in hospital on Friday while the female care assistant, in her 30s, was in a serious condition.

The two other children, a five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, suffered less serious injuries.

The six-year-old remained in hospital on Friday, but the boy was discharged.

Gardaí said a man who sustained serious injuries at the scene is a person of interest in their investigation.

Dublin city centre incident
Caio Benicio, a Deliveroo driver, at the scene in Dublin city centre after he witnessed the incident on Parnell Square East (Brian Lawless/PA)

More than €500,000 has been raised for the victims of the stabbing attack, and those who intervened.

A number of GoFundMe pages have been set up, with the highest total for an effort to assist Deliveroo driver Caio Benicio who intervened in the attack to stop the man armed with a knife.

By Rebecca Black, PA

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