Attack on the Innocents that shocked the nation

Our Fair City in tatters as mobs go on wrecking spree after earlier horror stabbing

by Rose Barrett
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Parnell Square stabbing incident

The shocking attack of young students and their carer from Gaelscoil Colaiste Mhuire on Thursday last saw the nation shudder in horror as details of the unprovoked assaults unfolded. It seemed incomprehensible that such young students could be the victims of a random stabbing attack.

And soon, it was confirmed that at least one girl (5) was seriously injured along with a school carer accompanying the children, plus at least two other students, all of whom were rushed to hospitals in the city.

Leanne Flynn Keogh was named as the woman injured in the vicious attack, as she bravely intervened between the assailant and her young charges.

Shocked onlookers were not found wanting in bravery either as many rushed to the aid of the terrified group, among then Brazilian Caio Benicio who struck the attacker with his bicycle helmet. The 43-year-old delivery driver with Deliveroo rushed to aid the children as he is the father of two young children himself.  

Caio Benicio
Deliveroo worker, Brazilian native Caio Benicio

Filipino nurse Leo Ralph Publico Villamayora was on his way to a graduation ceremony at The Gresham Hotel when he passed the horrific scene at Parnell Square. With a job secured at the Mayo Clinic, it was a day of pride and joy for him until he frightening assault on the innocent students and their carer. Dressed in a formal suit, he attended the victims. But the trauma and the violence that followed later has left him shaken and afraid to go out alone.

Irish people attending the Stardust hearing nearby rushed also to assist in confining the attacker. As rumours spread the assailant was a ‘non-national’, the most heinous levels of violence in the name of racism were ignited by far right extremists who quickly garnered hysteria on social media platforms.

Ironically, as Caio Benicio and Nurse Leo came to the assistance of the victims, so too did French teenager Alan Loren-Guille, a trainee chef at the Michelin-rated Spitalfields Restaurant along with Wicklow dad, Warren Donohue who was in town to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.

It was laudable how many Good Samaritans rushed forward to aid the victims but shocking to think of the trauma experienced by the young students and their carer. The school this week is trying to return to ‘normal’ routine, to reassure distraught children and their parents and to support those in hospital recovering from serious injuries.

A parent of two children at Gaelscoil Colaiste Mhuire, dad Paul set up a GoFundMe campaign to support the injured carer and children directly impacted by the knife attack, and also to support the traumatised students, staff and parents.

Leanne Flynn Creche Worker

He wrote online: “I would like to ask for your help to assist in supporting the children in the aftermath of this terrible event and help them to provide any future support that they all may need at this time.

“This should be the most special time of year for all children and at the school they are currently practicing for their Christmas school play and your help and donations will assist in making this year as special as possible for the impacted children.”

He further called for donations to support “the superhero carer who bravely put herself in front of so many children so they could run to safety while putting her own life at risk.”

He noted: “Unfortunately, due to her significant injuries she will now be out of work for the foreseeable future.” By Monday evening, the fund had surpassed €250,000. Donations please to

Further GoFundMe appeals have also been launched for the Brazilian Caio Benicio with almost €363,000 raised earlier this week and further campaigns launched for the French teenager and Warren Donohue.

The excessive ‘protests’ that followed Thursday evening encompassed such violence, directed at non-nationals and refugees, at Gardaí, at members of Dublin Fire Brigade, drivers of Dublin Bus and left our public transport in tatters, shops vandalised and pillaged. 

Dublin’s fair city was in tatters.

And in hospitals across the city, three young children and a young woman were treated for injuries, some serious and the emotional trauma has yet to come. A man believed to be the assailant, is also being treated for head injuries following the incident. 

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