Varadkar condemns attack on rule of law that ‘brought shame on Ireland’ and promises new legislation
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has condemned yesterday’s rioting in Dublin as an “attack on our society and the rule of law” as he announced that the law on incitement to hatred would be modernised.
Riots erupted in the wake of a knife attack against three children and a school care assistant outside the Gaelscoil Coláiste Mhuire in Dublin’s city centre yesterday.
Speaking this morning, Mr Varadkar said: “Yesterday our country experienced two terrible attacks – the first an attack on innocent children, the second an attack on our society and the rule of law. Each attack brought shame to our society, disgrace to those involved, and incredible pain to all those caught up in the violence.”
He added: “It was a horrifying act of violence – and our thoughts are with the injured children, with the heroic care assistant who threw herself in harm’s way to try to protect them, and with all those who risked their lives to save lives. They are the real Irish heroes, whatever their nationality – Irish, Brazilian, Italian.”
He went on to condemn the rioting that took place yesterday evening.
“Their first reaction to a five-year-old child being stabbed was to burn our city, attack its businesses and assault our Gardaí,” he said of the rioters.
“As a result of their actions, buses and trains were set on fire, innocent passersby were intimidated, and pregnant women in the Rotunda hospital were made feel unsafe and in danger.
“These people claim to be defending Irish citizens, yet they were putting in danger the newest, the most vulnerable, and the most innocent of our people. Those involved brought shame on Dublin, they brought shame on Ireland, and they brought shame on their families and themselves.”
They were, he said, “filled with hate” and love violence and chaos.
He promised to use “the full resources of the law” to punish those involved in yesterday’s incident and said the “Garda Commissioner is free to use the Public Order Act over the weekend as required”.
The Taoiseach also said new laws would be passed in the coming weeks to “enable the Gardaí to make better use of the CCTV evidence they collected yesterday” and that laws on “incitement to hatred and hatred in general” would be updated.
He concluded: “Being Irish means more than saluting the tricolour, beating your chest, and pointing to where you were born. It means living up to the ideals represented by our flag, it means being true to our own history, it means acting with compassion for others.”