Almost £300,000 has been raised for a delivery driver who intervened in an attack by a man suspected of attacking children outside a school in Dublin.
Caio Benicio was on his motorbike in Dublin city centre when he spotted the attack on Thursday. He said he used his helmet to hit the assailant “with all my power”.
A five-year-old girl sustained serious injuries and remains in hospital following the stabbing attack, which then sparked the worst night of rioting in Ireland’s capital Dublin for nearly two decades.
Two other children, a five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, suffered less serious injuries.
Gardai said a man who sustained serious injuries at the scene is a person of interest in their investigation.
A number of GoFundMe pages have been set up, with the highest total for Benicio, who works for the Deliveroo takeaway app.
An online page called Buy Caio Benicio a Pint had raised €334,210 by Saturday afternoon.
The interventions by him and other passersby were praised by the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, who described them as “the real Irish heroes”.
Benicio, who has a 12-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, said he did not think of himself as “a hero”.
“I’m a parent. I have two kids myself. I think every parent would do the same,” he said. “It’s something that you don’t think about, [you] just act.”
He said the local response and a call from his children had been “priceless”.
“It’s nice to make them proud,” he told Agence-France Presse. “That’s very, very nice.”
The Brazilian was aided in disarming the attacker by a trainee chef from France, who has been in Dublin on an internship at a local restaurant since October.
The 17-year-old student, who suffered minor injuries to his hand and face, received a congratulatory phone call from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on Friday.
There were chaotic scenes following the incident involving far-right elements, with garda cars, buses and trams set alight, and shops looted and damaged.
Thirty-four people were arrested during the scenes on the Irish capital’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street, and garda officers are trawling 6,000 hours of CCTV footage from the night.
Irish police have said use of water cannon is “an available tactic” in the event of further disturbances in Dublin later.
The police service of Northern Ireland has loaned Garda Síochána two water cannon following a request for mutual aid from garda commissioner, Drew Harris. They will solely be operated by members of Garda Síochána if deployed.
A garda spokesperson said: “Training has taken place to refresh previously trained operators and water cannons are now an available tactic to public order operational commanders for An Garda Siochana.
“Commissioner Harris thanks the chief constable of the police Service of Northern Ireland and all PSNI personnel involved for their offer of assistance and rapid response to his request.”
Source : The Guardian