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Detectives still waiting to arrest Dublin child stabbing suspect two weeks on

While suspected attacker’s medical condition has improved, 49-year-old naturalised Irish citizen still suffering serious injury

The condition of the chief suspect in the stabbing attack outside a school in Dublin’s north inner city has stabilised, though gardaí are still waiting to interview him.

The 49-year-old man was in an induced coma, after suffering life-threatening injuries in the incident which left a five-year-old girl and her carer with serious injuries.

Gardaí have still not been cleared to arrest him, or even to speak to him in hospital, as he remains seriously ill. Gardaí have been given no indication when the suspect might be deemed fit enough to be spoken to, though sources said it was possible that could change in the coming days.

The suspect, who was overpowered by passersby at the scene on Parnell Square East last Thursday week, remains under armed guard at a Dublin hospital. He suffered a range of injuries, including a serious head injury, and was revived by paramedics at the scene of the crime.


The motive for the attack remains unclear, though no link to terrorism has been unearthed by the Garda investigation, being carried out from Mountjoy Garda station. However, the man, who is originally from Algeria but had been living in Ireland for two decades, previously suffered a brain tumour. More recently he had been engaging with mental health services in Dublin.

He is the only suspect for the knife attack on Parnell Square East at lunchtime on Thursday, November 23rd, when a group of children, aged five and six, were being brought into an after-school facility by a creche worker (30s).

While two of the children, a boy aged five and a girl aged six, were injured and taken to CHI Crumlin, they have since been released and are recovering. However, the creche worker in her 30s suffered multiple stab wounds and has only in recent days been moved out of the high dependency unit at the Mater hospital.

The woman tried to stop the attacker, using her body in a bid to shield the children in her care, suffering multiple stab wounds as she did.

The third injured child, a five-year-old girl, was stabbed in the chest and remains gravely ill at Temple Street hospital. In the immediate aftermath of the attack it emerged there were concerns for her life and members of both her parents’ families have travelled to Ireland to offer support.

Though the injured girl remains very seriously ill, a brief statement from her mother has raised hopes she may survive.

“Thank you so much for the incredible gesture and kindness you have shown our family during these troubled times,” she said in a message on a GoFundMe page set up for the family which has so far raised €38,000.

“Your thoughts, prayers and generosity have and will go a long way. Our little girl has shown incredible strength and still here with us. We don’t know yet what lies ahead as it is still early, but she is resilient and limitations will not stop her. Thank you so much. All the love we can give.”

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times