Five people, including three young children, were injured near a school in Dublin on Thursday, the police said, in what the country’s justice minister described as “an appalling attack.”
A suspect in the case was in custody — a man in his 50s, himself injured — according to a spokeswoman for the Garda Síochána, the Irish police force.
Liam Geraghty, a spokesman for the police, said at a news conference Thursday evening that according to preliminary information the attack was a standalone event, and not an act of terrorism. He added that investigators were following a definite line of inquiry and were not looking for other suspects.
“An attack on children is an act of absolute cowardice and depravity,” Gary Gannon, a member of Parliament for the area, wrote in a statement.
The police said a knife was used in the attack. A witness who spoke to the Irish public broadcaster RTÉ described seeing a man carrying a knife being disarmed by “another young man.”
The police added that an adult woman in her 30s and a 5-year-old girl had sustained serious wounds, while the other two children, a 5-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, were being treated for less serious injuries. They said the episode, which they described as “a serious public order incident,” took place at Parnell Square East, in central Dublin, shortly after 1:30 p.m.
“I am deeply shocked by the appalling attack on three innocent children and a woman in Dublin today,” Ireland’s justice minister, Helen McEntee, said in a statement.
The five injured people were taken to hospitals in the Dublin region, according to the police, who said they were in contact with all the children’s parents.