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Man charged over child stabbing spree that sparked Dublin riots

The accused referred to himself as a ‘sick person’ when answering the charges

A 50-year-old man has been charged by Irish police with the attempted murder of three young children in a knife attack in Dublin last month. The incident sparked widespread rioting and looting by anti-immigration protesters in the Irish capital.

Riad Bouchaker, reported to be an Algerian national who has lived in Ireland for the past two decades, appeared before Dublin’s District Court on Thursday. Addressing the court, the arresting police officer, Detective Sergeant Padraig Cleary, said that Bouchaker responded to one of the charges by saying: “I am a sick person.”

A five-year-old girl remains in the hospital in serious condition after the attack in Dublin’s Parnell Square on November 23. Two other children have since been released from hospital. A daycare worker, Leanne Flynn Keogh, was also seriously injured in the attack.

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Bouchaker made no comment to the other attempted murder charges against him, Cleary said. He also faces a charge of assault causing harm. Legal counsel for the defendant said that his primary language is Arabic, and an interpreter was provided by the court.

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An Garda Siochana at the scene in Dublin city centre after five people were injured in an attack, including three young children on November 23, 2023. Violent scenes have unfolded close to the site of the attack in Dublin city centre as crowds of protesters gathered
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Bouchaker was detained at the scene of last month’s attack by passersby. His appearance in court on Thursday comes amid reports that he required significant medical attention following the attack. The court heard that the weapon involved in the incident was a 36cm (14 inch) kitchen knife.

His defense counsel requested that Bouchaker’s legal team would not be identified by the media to protect their safety. Late last month, Irish news website Gript incorrectly identified the suspect in a report. Irish police subsequently deployed units to protect the innocent men from the possibility of vigilante attack. Security at the Irish court was also tightened ahead of Bouchaker’s appearance.

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The stabbing spree allegedly committed by Bouchaker led to a wave of social unrest in Dublin on the night of November 23, with many expressing anti-immigration sentiment.

Numerous businesses around the city’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, were looted by protestors. Several vehicles, including police cars and public transport trams and buses, were set alight.

More than 40 people have since been arrested for involvement in the riots, with 30 of those already having appeared before the courts.

December 21, 2023 at 11:03PM
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