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24th Nov 2023

Leo Varadkar condemns ‘hate-filled criminals’ after Dublin riots

Stephen Porzio


“Looting a shop was more important to them than protecting the lives of our children.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has condemned those involved in the shocking riots in Dublin on Thursday evening, stating that they “brought shame on Ireland”.

Speaking from Dublin Castle on Friday morning, he said: “Yesterday afternoon, innocent children were attacked outside the Gaelscoil Coláiste Mhuire in Dublin city centre.

“It was a horrific horrifying act of violence and our thoughts are with the injured children, their heroic care assistant who threw herself in harm’s way to protect them and all those who risked their lives to save lives. They’re real Irish heroes, whatever their nationality.

“Our thoughts are also with the doctors and nurses in our city who are trying to save the lives of those who are injured – many of them come from abroad.”

Varadkar then added: “Yesterday evening, some people decided that the best way to respond to this terrible attack was to take to the streets of Dublin and try to terrify, intimidate, loot and destroy.

“Their first reaction to a five-year-old child being stabbed was to burn our city, attack its businesses and assault our Gardaí.

“As a result of their actions, buses and trams were set on fire, innocent passers-by were intimidated and pregnant women in Rotunda Hospital were made to feel unsafe and in danger.

“These people claim to be defending Irish citizens, yet they put in danger the newest and most vulnerable and most innocent people.”


Leo Varadkar speaking to the media regarding major rioting which took place in Dublin last night

The Taoiseach also said that those involved “brought shame on Dublin, brought shame on Ireland and brought shame on their families and themselves.”

“These criminals did not do what they did because they love Ireland,” he added. “They did not do what they did because they wanted to protect Irish people.

“They did not do it out of any sense of patriotism, however warped. They did so because they’re filled with hate, they love violence, they love chaos and they love causing pain to others.

“Looting a shop was more important to them than protecting the lives of our children.”

Describing Ireland today as “unsettled and afraid”, Varadkar also said: “This is not who we are, this is not where we want to be, and this is not who we will ever be.

“Today I call on us all to remember who we really are. Because we’re better than this. And it’s time we came together and reminded others who claim to speak for us, about what our country really stands for.”

For further information on the impact of the Dublin riots, you can read a previous JOE story about the damage right here.

Main images via Sam Boal/

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