The Howth-Junction Assault: Is Unsociable Behaviour Rising?

Published on 14 May 2021 at 15:08

Videos and photos of ‘gangs’ have been circulating, particularly over the last few months of the third level 5 lock-down. In April, a video was shared on social media of a group of boys committing multiple assaults against multiple women at Howth-Junction train/dart station. One of the women fell between the train and the platform after being spat on and seemingly being hit by one of the boy’s bikes. The video has been circulating social media throughout April and May. 


On Thursday morning at 7am, Gardaí searched five properties in north Dublin, arresting three boys. Two were aged 16 and one aged 13. This is as a result of a criminal investigation into the incident. The boys were held at Garda Stations in Raheny, Coolock and Clontarf and were questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. 


A spokeswoman for An Garda Síochána said in a statement: “Three youths (two aged 16 years and one aged 13 years) were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder under the Public Order Act, 1994. All three are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Clontarf, Raheny and Coolock Garda stations.”


Two of the boys were released yesterday afternoon without charge and the other boy was released yesterday evening without charge. There is still an ongoing investigation surrounding the attack on April 1st


Gardaí seized bikes along with the arrest, which could be the bikes the boys were using when the violent attack occurred. Gardaí also seized mobile phones and clothes, believing that the mobile phones may assist gardaí in identifying who was present at the time of the incident. The clothes taken may be related to proceeds of crime. Many youths today are now wearing very expensive clothes and jewellery, earned through criminal activities from drug kingpins. The reasoning for the seizure of clothing by Gardaí is unconfirmed however. 


The woman who fell through the gap on the platform is confirmed to have escaped the traumatic incident without injury. In the video, other women and a man in a high visibility jacket are seen reaching down and pulling the women back to safety on the platform. 


Gardaí believe that they are aware of the identities of all those present on the day of the incident. They believe that there were up to ten young boys involved with the group who attacked the women. Gardaí are still appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who can provide relevant information to come forward.


In recent weeks and months, videos have been circulating of groups of ‘gangs’ intimidating people and causing discrepancies in towns and villages throughout Dublin. Is this a result of people being confined to certain areas during the level 5 lock-down? This a question that many are asking. In recent weeks, Garda presence in towns has increased but has not prevented assaults on locals. 


Multiple attacks have been reported on teenagers being approached by gangs and being attacked. The so-called “posh-bashings” as it is known by some, takes place when a gang gets on public transport and travels to a relatively wealthy area. The gang proceeds to choose a victim and assaults them, before getting back on public transport and travelling back in large numbers, making it difficult for Gardaí to make arrests. 


A video of youths attacking another boy on top of a family car in Malahide, Co. Dublin has sparked outrage among locals in the area who have witnessed increasing anti-social behaviour in recent months. 


Anyone with information regarding the Howth-Junction incident has been asked to contact Raheny Garda Station 01 6664300 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

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