Gardaí investigating Dundrum assault do not believe it is racially motivated

Josepha Madigan concerned with recent rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric

Minister fo Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said she was concerned with the recent rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister fo Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said she was concerned with the recent rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Gardaí are still trying to determine the reason behind an assault on a young woman in Dundrum, but said they do not believe it is racially motivated.

Two females in their teens were walking on Main Street in the south Dublin town on Sunday afternoon when they were set upon by a group of youths. One of the women was pulled to the ground and eggs were thrown at her.

The victim, who has just completed her Leaving Certificate, made a complaint to gardaí detailing the assault and alleging the attackers had pulled off the hijab she was wearing. Gardaí have identified a number of suspect but no arrests have been made.

In a statement gardaí said they are “investigating all the circumstances of a number of incidents, including public order / theft, on Main Street, Dundrum on the afternoon of Sunday August 18th 2019 involving a group of youths (females and males). One incident involves an alleged report of assault on a female which is circulating on social media.”

“The investigation will determine the motive behind these incidents; at this time the incidents are not believed to be racially motivated, investigations are continuing.”

The victim’s family member told The Irish Times they are waiting to hear back from gardaí before commenting on the incident.

Islamophobic motive

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and TD for Dublin Rathdown Josepha Madigan had earlier said she was briefed by gardaí on the matter and told racism or Islamophobia is being examined as a motive.

She said gardaí have already identified a number of the males from a video captured at the scene which appears to show part of the assault. It is understood the video was taken by the victim’s family member who was walking with her.

“What we don’t know is if these people were waiting for just anybody to come along and attack them or if it is a hate crime. Eggs were thrown at them and there was certainly an attempt to pull off [her hijab].”

Ms Madigan said she was concerned with the recent rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“It’s something I am very concerned about and it’s important it is addressed. If it is the case that this is racially motivated then we really need to teach our young people a thing or two about solidarity and welcoming other people into our country.”

“It’s a worldwide problem, not just specific to Ireland. It’s very important people are accepted into our society and embraced for their differences, no more than any other religious community in Ireland.

The video of the incident was shared widely online on Tuesday.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information or anyone with mobile phone footage/dash cam footage to contact Dundrum Garda station on 01 - 666 5600, the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666111. They have urged people not to share the video further online.