Protesters who took to the streets of Dublin last night after an Algerian migrant stabbed multiple children in the city center on Thursday did so not out of patriotism but “hate,” claimed Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who issued a staunch defense of his government’s mass migration policy.
At a press conference on Friday, Varadkar condemned the ugly scenes across the Irish capital late on Thursday evening as citizens turned out en masse to express their anger at the horrific attack a few hours earlier, with some turning to violence and attempting to burn down hotels housing asylum seekers, torch police cars, and loot shops.
“As a country, we need to reclaim Ireland, we need to take it away from the cowards who hide behind masks and try to terrify us with violence,” Varadkar said.
“We need to reclaim Ireland from the criminals who seek any excuse to unleash horror on our streets,” he added, accusing protesters of bringing “shame on Ireland.”
Man arrested for mass stabbing spree outside Dublin primary school, 3 children and a woman injured
Graphic images from the scene show emergency responders tending to a young girl whose pink backpack is laid down next to her body
Initial protests escalated into riots not seen on Irish streets for many years. Critics of the government and authorities claimed that the heavy-handed police response and the portrayal of those voicing their anger as being “far-right” by the mainstream media antagonized protesters.
Varadkar revealed there would be a review of the police response to see if the situation could have been handled more appropriately.
The taoiseach reaffirmed his commitment to his administration’s immigration policy, telling reporters that Ireland would be a “vastly inferior” place without immigrants.
“Ireland is a great country and a country that is formed by migration in both directions — Irish people going all over the world to build new lives and people coming to Ireland to build new lives,” he said.
He assured foreign nationals in the country that “what they witnessed yesterday is not reflective of the Irish people,” but a “tiny minority” of the country, and urged residents not to “allow the people who want to take the city away from us to think that they have succeeded.”
The mainstream media in Ireland has been accused of further antagonizing the Irish community by describing the Dublin attacker as “an Irish citizen who has lived in the country for many years,” rather than reporting that he is an Algerian migrant who was born in the African nation and traveled to Ireland as an adult.
Police Commissioner Harris added further fuel to the fire by accusing protesters of being a “lunatic, hooligan faction driven by far-right ideology.”