Man in critical condition after Halloween violence


A 24 year-old man was critically injured and several members of the emergency services required hospital treatment in Dublin last night as Halloween celebrations were marred by serious violence across the city.

The man is in a critical condition in Connolly Memorial Hospital after he was assaulted near a bonfire in Blanchardstown in the early hours of this morning. 

It is understood the man sustained his injuries in the Whitestown Gardens area of Blanchardstown at about 1.40am. A 19 year-old man was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and is being held at Blanchardstown Garda station.

Members of the emergency services were injured in a number of incidents in Dublin last night as Halloween celebrations were marred by serious violence across the city.  Dozens of cars were set alight and a number of stabbings were reported in the capital.

Two gardaí were hospitalised shortly after midnight after they were attacked by a crowd on Dorset Street in the north inner city.

It is understood that one garda suffered a broken nose.  A group of about 30 youths was involved in the incident and 10 people were arrested and taken to the Bridewell Garda Station.

Emergency services were attacked in Sherriff Street and a fireman was injured after a fire engine was targetted while attending a bonfire in the area.

A number of serious fires were reported including a blaze at a factory near the newly refurbished Point Depot.

Dublin Fire Service was called out to 800 incidents in the city and the ambulance service received 500 calls on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year.

Fire services attended a serious fire in O'Devaney Gardens near the Phoenix Park where unoccupied apartments were set ablaze.

In Clonmel, Co Tipperary four gardaí were assaulted during an incident at a bonfire involving close to 30 youths. A female garda suffered a fractured eye socket while three others had lacerations to their bodies and were treated in Waterford Regional Hospital.

With Dublin’s clean up bill for Halloween expected to top one million euros,  the City Council was today urged to review how it handles the traditional  festivities.

Labour councillor Aodhan O Riordain said the council needed to take control of  events and organise its own family-friendly celebration.

“It is clear that a thorough root and branch review of the City Council procedures in relation to the Halloween period is now necessary,” said the councillor.

“This weekend we have witnessed savage attacks on the emergency services in their attempts to put out fires and I have also heard reports of intimidation of residents who contacted the Council in relation to stockpiles of wood and tyres near their houses.

“City Council employees were also in fear of attack from youths and were unable to remove bonfire material from many areas. I have called consistently for the City Council to pre-empt these
difficulties by organising their own Halloween bonfires and activities so that they can be properly controlled, family-friendly and adequately supervised.

“We need to ostracise the trouble-makers by outflanking them and by reclaiming the festival in our estates and communities. The review needs to start immediately in order to prevent similar scenes from taking place next year.”

Dublin Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne noted that call outs were down on past year and expressed her gratitude to firefighters for their efforts. She also called for mandatory sentencing to be enforced for those found guilty of attacking members of emergency services.

Fine Gael Justice Spokesperson, Charlie Flanagan condemned the attacks on emergency services.

“Attacking the emergency services is truly reprehensible,” he said. "This is something that needs to be handled in a very serious way by the criminal justice system — by the Gardai in terms of carrying out arrests and by the courts in the sentences which are handed down.