By Kim O’Leary
A teenager is recovering in the Mater Hospital from a stab wound after clashes between two groups of teenagers on Samuel Beckett Bridge on Monday evening.
Dozens of youths, male and female, on foot, scooters and bicycles, engaged in a fight on the bridge, briefly forcing traffic to a halt.
Gardaí poured into the area on foot and in vehicles, with most of the mob quickly dispersing.
However, one of the teenagers was injured and required medical treatment close to the Convention Centre at North Wall Quay.
Garda Headquarters in Dublin said Garda units from Store Street and Pearse Street stations responded to “a public order incident involving a large number of youths”.
Sinn Féin Cllr Janice Boylan expressed her deep concern in relation to the broad daylight stabbing.
Cllr Boylan said: “This type of activity has to stop, we need to stop it before it escalates and lives are lost. Gardaí were quick to respond and I understand that the crowd dispersed quickly.
“We need intervention to stop these gangs from forming in the first place. I am hearing that it was organised on Whatsapp between the youths from both sides of the Liffey and has been going on for some time now.
“Someone’s life is going to be lost in these altercations. That’s the reality we are facing.
“The country is on lockdown and people’s mental health is suffering tremendously, and these incidents are terrifying for those involved and those who witness them.”
The latest knife crime comes as figures released this week show almost 1,000 knives were seized in Dublin last year which is almost half of the country’s total.
Gardai confiscated 998 blades on the streets of the capital in 2020, and a total of 2,243 were recovered nationwide, which is 5% more than the previous year.
Dublin Central TD Gary Gannon said it’s time to take a zero-tolerance approach to “knife crime and the carrying of knives” as the streets of Dublin are unsafe.
“That requires more Gardai on the streets and it requires an understanding of the natures of gang-related behaviour,” he said.
“Where these groups are congregating and what exactly they have the knives for.”