Brazilian embassy ran a shuttle bus to get people home during Dublin riots

‘We have every reason to hope that this is an isolated incident,’ says country’s ambassador

A number of Brazilians were caught up in last Thursday night’s violence in Dublin, prompting the country’s embassy to provide assistance by running a shuttle service to get some of them home, Brazil’s ambassador to Ireland, Marcel Biato, has said.

Mr Biato said concern over the situation in Ireland has since been expressed by members of the estimated 70,000 Brazilian community living here who have been in contact with the embassy but that there have been no significant incidents involving Brazilians.

“I think it came as a shock – the violence, the virulence of what happened – not only to the average Irish person but to migrant communities,” said Mr Biato.

“Many people in the Brazilian community have looked us up and what we tell them is basically the same message: ‘We have every reason to hope that this is an isolated incident that will not repeat itself.’


“The Government has committed to taking necessary measures to ensure that it is under control and we certainly share the belief that there was no ingrained, deeply felt anti-immigrant sentiment.

The Brazilian community here is generally very well received. But like in every other country, these things can happen [in an] isolated incident.”

He said the involvement of Brazilian national Caio Benício in halting the earlier knife attack that left a young child in an extremely serious condition in Temple Street Children’s Hospital and a school worker who sought to protect children from the attacker in a serious condition is a matter of some pride.

The suspect in the attack, who remains in hospital under armed guard awaiting interview, is a naturalised Irish citizen. He has been living in Ireland for two decades, having arrived from Algeria in the early 2000s.

The ambassador said the reaction of Irish people to Mr Benício’s part in the events was getting huge attention back in Brazil.

“I think it shows that migrants, Brazilians, we are here to help in solidarity,” said Mr Biato who said he met Mr Benício at an event this week hosted by the embassy to pay tribute to the delivery worker, a father of two who moved to Ireland late last year.

“He has spoken about not hesitating, just acting and as he is on a bit of a speaking tour at the moment I asked him to tell people, in his own words, how important this is, always to do the right thing.

“I asked too how many pints he normally drinks because right now he must be having a lot more,” he added, in reference to the GoFundMe page entitled Buy Caio Benício a pint, which has attracted more than €365,000 in donations to date.

“It’s a very Irish ‘thank you’ but people in Brazil are flabbergasted by the generosity.”

Mr Biato said that João Ferreira, the delivery worker who lost part of his right leg after being struck by a Garda car while he and other riders sought to help a friend recover a stolen bike, is expected to leave hospital soon and continue his recovery at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dún Laoghaire.

The ambassador expressed the hope, meanwhile, that recent events “will shine an even stronger light on some of the issues that have been raised by immigrant communities over recent years, having to do with security, working rights, migration status ... They are not necessarily related to what’s happened but they do provide an opportunity to underline that immigrants here and Brazilians certainly come to work, to get on and having chosen to come here, they want to integrate.”

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times