James Bacon was in centre city Dublin yesterday when a riot broke out; File 770 asked him what happened.
Dublin has had a shocking day yesterday, with an appalling knife attack on school children followed by a protest by racists that degenerated into a full blown riot with looting by malevolent youths spurned on by right wingers.
I had arranged to meet some friends and spend some time going around comic shops and then relaxing and enjoying a coffee. I visited the city centre comic shops, Sub City and Dublin City Comics and went to Wigwam to meet comic writer Stephen Walsh and we all variously enjoyed chat, tea, coffee and a cider. The talk ranged from war comics to fanzines and was good.
Sadly about this time an attack occurred where a man stabbed a young girl of five years of age then stabbed two more children and a carer while they were lined up outside their school, Gael Scoil Colaiste Mhuire on Parnell Square in the city centre. I understand that an Irish lady and an American lady saw what was happening intervened and helped to restrain the man, who is an Irish citizen, here 20 years. There’s no details on the why, but the young girl is badly injured and of course, thoughts are with all of them. The man was arrested.
Oblivious to this, Stephen and Pádraig went home and myself and a pal walked over to Forbidden Planet.
The knife attack, an appallingly terrible thing was meanwhile maliciously used as a catalyst for a racist protest organised by people described by the head of An Garda Síochána Commisioner Drew Harris as “a complete lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology”.
Continuing in ignorance of what was unfolding we walked over to Hapenny Bridge and into Forbidden Planet.
As matters became clear to the management and staff that the situation was escalating, prompt action was taken. Kevin the manager and his team went around the shop as most customers like ourselves were totally unaware of what was going on outside, and we were calmly warned of the situation, informed of where to avoid and the threat to safety shared.
Kevin the manager and his team at Forbidden Planet Dublin were kind and considerate, and took an impressive stance, thoughtful and caring. They calmly ensured awareness and encouraged comic buyers to get home safely. There were offers of walking folks home if required.
Really nice in what are exceptionally unusual circumstances and difficulties.
This prompt, preventative and proactive action was wise, as a very short time later, matters escalated to unprecedented levels of violence and destruction as the situation deteriorated and buses, a tram and police cars were set on fire in what has been the worst rioting to be seen in Dublin, in my lifetime, at least.
As our thoughts go to those poor unfortunate children and carer who were attacked, a sense of gratitude with the feeling of real community thoughtfulness comes from the actions of Kevin and staff at Forbidden Planet International Dublin.
Update: Further reports point to a Brazilian deleveroo driver who intervened: “’I used my helmet as a weapon to stop him’: Brazilian Deliveroo rider intervened in knife attack at school on Parnell Square” in The Irish Times.
A Brazilian Deliveroo rider who intervened in the knife attack outside a school on Parnell Square on Thursday said he “didn’t think twice” before acting.
Caio Benício (43) has two children, and when he realised it was an attack, he dismounted and hit the suspect on the head with his motorcycle helmet.
Mr Benício said he was still in shock on Friday to see the riots that took to Dublin streets last night and said: “It does not make sense at all. I know the protest involved anti-migrant groups. And I, as a migrant, was the one that helped to hold back the assailant.”