The violent demonstrations, which had begun peacefully, drew the ire of Ireland's police force, the Gardaí, as 400 officers were deployed to the scene to restore order. Commissioner Drew Harris referred to those wreaking havoc in the streets "hooligans" driven by "far-right ideology."
"We have a complete lunatic, hooligan faction driven by far right ideology and also this disruptive tendency engaged in serious violence," Harris said during a press conference, calling the situation in Dublin "disgraceful."
"Drew, not good enough," Irishman Conor McGregor said on X. "There is grave danger among us in Ireland that should never be here in the first place, and there has been zero action done to support the public in any way, shape or form with this frightening fact. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Make change or make way. Ireland for the victory God bless those attacked today, we pray."
Footage from the scene shows multiple vehicles, including a bus, on fire.
Crowds watched as a police car sat burning, black smoke billowing up into the sky.
Even the LUAS, Dublin's tram system, was targeted.
Rioters, who called for an end to mass migration into the island nation, set fire to a Holiday Inn Express, said to be housing illegal migrants.
Riot police clashed with those in the streets, and were eventually able to get the situation under control. As Reuters reports, rioters began to disperse around 9 pm local time.
According to RTÉ, the incident took place around 2 pm on Parnell Square East, right in the center of the Irish capital. The 40-year-old suspect, who also sustained injuries and is in hospital, allegedly approached the group, attacking the woman, 30, before going after the three children, aged five and six.
The Gardaí, have not revealed a potential motive, and do not believe it is terrorism-related.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee said in a statement that she was "deeply shocked by the appalling attack," adding, "This attack has shocked us all, and I have no doubt that the person responsible will be brought to justice, however, my thoughts now are with the innocent children and the woman who have been attacked, their families, and those who are caring for them at this time."
She referred to the rioters as "thugs [and] criminals, who are using this appalling attack to sow division."
This article and headline were updated to reflect the citizenship and immigration status of the suspect.