Dublin school stabbing suspect to be arrested ‘within days’ after attack on woman, kids ignited riots: report

The yet-to-be named Dublin stabbing suspect who has been hospitalized for weeks after a knife attack on a woman and three children that prompted a night of rioting will reportedly be arrested “within days” after waking from a coma. 

The five-year-old girl seriously wounded in the November 23 attack outside Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire, an all-Irish primary school on Parnell Square East in Dublin’s city center, remains hospitalized in critical condition at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, where she “is still fighting,” according to her family. 

The assailant, initially identified by local outlets as an Algerian immigrant in his 50s who has lived in Ireland for 20 years and became a naturalized Irish citizen at some point, is accused of plunging a knife into the chest of the five-year-old outside the Dublin school. The attacker soon allegedly turned his knife on a school caretaker, Leanne Flynn Keogh, who intervened. The woman remained in critical condition for more than a week afterward, but she reportedly has since been moved out of intensive care at The Mater Hospital, and is still recovering, according to the Irish Mirror. A six-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy were also injured, but they both were released from the hospital within days of the incident. 

The man, badly beaten by passersby who jumped into action, had been in an induced coma for a number of days after the attack but is now awake, the Irish Mirror reported Monday. Irish police, known as gardai, are looking to question the suspect as soon as medical professionals deem fit and are expected to arrest the suspect “within days,” according to the outlet. 

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A vigil held outside Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire in Dublin.  ( Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)

Gardai will bring their evidence before the Director of Public Prosecutions and reportedly will push for an attempted murder charge, an offense that carries a penalty of up to life in prison. The outlet also reported the man appeared in Dublin District Court on charges of possessing a knife and criminal damage to a car in May, but a judge took no further action then. 

“Our little girl is a warrior. She is still fighting. She remains in the PICU with hopes of moving to the ward before the end of the year,” the family of the critically injured five-year-old girl wrote in a GoFundMe update on Saturday. “We can all feel the love and prayers every second of the day. Had it not been for all of our friends, family and everyone’s support, we wouldn’t have had the strength to stand, and for that we thank you all.” 

Dublin school vigil

Candles and tributes are seen outside Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire, a school on Parnell Square in Dublin, following an attack on a woman and three children.  (Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)

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According to the Irish Mirror, Irish police are still trying to establish a motive for the attack but have found nothing to suggest a terrorism link after searching the suspect’s laptop. 

Warren Donohoe, an Irish father passing by Parnell Square at the time with his wife and own daughter, has been credited for tackling and pinning down the assailant, while a Brazilian food delivery driver, Caio Benicio, hopped off his motorcycle and reportedly began beating the suspect with his bike helmet. 

A 17-year-old French chef in training at a nearby restaurant, Alan Loren-Guille, also intervened to help wrestle the knife away and was later congratulated by French President Emmanuel Macron by phone. Another Brazilian man, IT professional Eder Santos, said he was cycling past at the time and tried to help, The Irish Times previously reported. 

Fiery Dublin riot scene

A car burns as Irish policemen stand at the scene of rioting in Dublin city centre, Thursday Nov. 23, 2023, after a knife attack at a primary school that day.  (Brian Lawless/PA via AP)

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The knife attack prompted hundreds of people fed up with mass migration into Ireland to descend on Dublin that night when shop windows were smashed, and cars and public transportation were set ablaze. In the aftermath of the riots, which included clashes with police, Ireland’s prime minister further pushed for an anti-hate law, which critics condemn as an affront to free speech on social media, possibly criminalizing memes condemning mass migration or otherwise deemed politically offensive. 

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