Dublin riot organisers will be tackled, says Micheál Martin

Tánaiste warns against people ‘inciting hate’

The riots in Dublin following Thursday’s stabbings of children were organised and those behind them will be tackled, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said.

The Government will order a review of intelligence gathering, particularly over how groups are using social media to mobilise people quickly.

Wishing those injured in Thursday’s stabbings a full recovery, Mr Martin said the subsequent riots are “not who we are as a people.

“Ireland has built a modern and inclusive society. It is something precious that we should all work towards,” he said in Dublin Castle


“We understand the need to respect each other, the need to respect difference and the need to respect the dignity of every human being.

“This is something that we should hold to preciously and we should collectively, as a society, come together to recommit to the fundamental value of decency, which has always been the hallmark of Irish society,” he said.

Questioned about the type of online remarks made by MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who has talked about Ireland being “at war” and others in the wake of the rioting, Mr Martin said he had seen “many comments of that type which are absolutely disgraceful”.

He added: “Isolated voices like that and voices that are essentially inciting hate, and a degree to some extent of incitement, I think, are unacceptable.”

Condemning the rioters, he said: “The better part of our nature must now show itself, the views of the vast, vast majority of the Irish people.

“People have no time for the type of lawlessness, rioting and attacks on our gardaí, fire services, bus drivers that happened last night.

“When you attack buses, when you attack a Luas, when you attack shops, you’re attacking your own community. You are attacking family, you are attacking friends, you are attacking workers,” he said in advance of the British-Irish Council.

Gardaí assembling evidence after the Parnell Square stabbings and emergency crews were quickly attacked by those who claim that they were protesting, he said.

“That is something that cannot be condoned and must be condemned. The scene of any violent incident should always be preserved,” he said.

Defending the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in the face of criticisms about the speed of the Garda response, Mr Martin said gardaí had been quickly on the scene and dealt with a difficult situation.

Speaking to those with negative opinions about immigration, Mr Martin said the Irish had travelled the world over the centuries. “Crime does not belong to any race, creed or colour. That’s the unfortunate situation and human experience,” he said, “In other words, it doesn’t discriminate.

“The freedoms of our citizens were violated last night in so far as they could not walk the streets of their city. Many couldn’t get home because of the sudden cancellation of public transport. So I’m very, very saddened by all of that.

“That’s not the society I grew up in,” he said, “I think we need to unite now and recommit to the values that make life in Ireland worthwhile and to allow people to move about their streets with safety, with freedom, with the capacity to enjoy lives as we move into the Christmas.”

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy is Ireland and Britain Editor with The Irish Times