The Irish government waited too long to address the factors that led to last week’s Dublin riots, according to Ryanair Holdings Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary.
“We need to see how the government responds to it. And so far, the government response has been slow and tardy. They’re all of a sudden going to rush through legislation,” O’Leary told Bloomberg News in an interview. “Why do you have to rush it through? It should have been passed through about two years ago.”
Violence engulfed Dublin last Thursday evening after three children and a woman were stabbed near a school, with police cars set on fire and shops looted. The damage caused by the unrest is expected to cost tens of millions of euros.
However, one night of rioting won’t impact tourism in Ireland, O’Leary added, saying it couldn’t be allowed to happen again.
Ireland’s police head, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, said Dublin had not seen violence on this scale in decades, blaming the riots on a far-right “hooligan” faction.
Lawmakers and the police are now trying to introduce measures that include hate legislation, the deployment of body cameras and an expansion of the public order unit’s remit.
“We need to have some kind of effective Garda response team located in the center of the city,” O’Leary said.
In the aftermath, Irish premier Leo Varadkar said Dublin was not immune to the kind of events that happen in other cities around the world. “But that doesn’t mean that our country or our city isn’t safe,” he told reporters last Friday morning. “It is safe.”