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Political reactions to Dublin riots roll in: “Ask your sisters, ask your friends, ask everyone you know who they fear most on our streets”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that those involved in rioting across Dublin City Centre “brought shame on Dublin, brought shame on Ireland, and brought shame on their families and themselves.”

Reactions from Ireland’s politicians to last night’s (November 23) rioting across Dublin are rolling in.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has spoken about yesterday’s unrest, saying that people involved in rioting in Dublin city centre last night “brought shame on Dublin, brought shame on Ireland, and brought shame on their families and themselves.”

Many on social media have claimed Varadkar “hit the nail on the head” with the following commentary: “To all those cowardly champions of Ireland who took to the streets of Dublin last night, let me say one thing – ask your sisters, ask your friends, ask everyone you know who they fear most on our streets.

“They’re afraid of you, they’re afraid of your anger and your rage, afraid of your violence, your hate, and how you blame others for your problems.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has also condemned the rioting in Dublin, saying: “this is not who we are as a people.”

The Tánaiste said that in the first instance his thoughts are with the families of the children and adults who were injured in a knife attack.

Turning to the rioting which followed, Mr Martin acknowledged people are “obviously very, very concerned” about “the lawlessness and the rioting that occurred last evening in our city.

“And I would say that this is not who we are as a people, Ireland has built a modern and inclusive society.

“It is something precious that we should all work to hold.

“We understand the need to respect other, the need to respect difference and the need to respect the dignity of every human being. This is something that we should hold precious and we should collectively as a society come together to recommit to those fundamental values.”

The Tánaiste further described last night’s events in Dublin as an attack on the fundamental freedom of our citizens.

Martin said the nature of online communications, in terms of the hatred and bile that can often be seen there, is something that must be examined in the days and weeks ahead.

The Tánaiste confirmed he has confidence in An Garda Síochána, the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

He said people have no time for the type of lawlessness seen last night and said that when you attack buses, the Luas and shops “you’re attacking your own community, your family, friends and workers.”

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee added to the political commentary, saying: “It is important to recognise that gardaí contained this for the most part to a very small area.”

She acknowledged that “the scenes were incomprehensible for most people. They [gardaí] managed to contain this to a very small area”.

“Yes, there were incidents and individual incidents which expanded out beyond the O’Connell Street area on Henry Street, but this was for the most part contained and by midnight last night, order had been restored to our city.

“But this was a group, a violent mob of thugs and criminals whose sole focus was to wreak havoc. There were a huge number of gardaí, who were assaulted, who were spat at, who were the victims of vitriol and hate themselves.”

“And we need to protect them and keep them safe, and I cannot commend them enough.”

More to come as news unfolds.

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