Images of armoured vehicles in Dublin are not from last week’s disturbance

28 November 2023
What was claimed

The Irish army was called in to provide support and armoured vehicles in Dublin following stabbings that occurred on 23 November.

Our verdict

This is false. The Irish Defence Forces did not deploy in response to the riot that occurred in Dublin on 23 November, and an image of armoured vehicles circulating online is from a previous routine exercise.

A number of posts on Facebook claim to show that the army was deployed in Dublin as part of the response to rioting that took place in the Irish capital on the evening of Thursday 23 November. Captions also suggest that an accompanying image of armoured vehicles shows these forces being deployed.

However the Irish Defence Forces have confirmed that they did not deploy any personnel or assets and that the images are from an earlier routine operation.

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What is in the posts?

The posts feature an image of what appear to be two armoured personnel carriers on a road. A cyclist is visible in the left of the frame, and there are a row of buildings on the right hand side. 

Text accompanying the image explicitly links it and alleged army deployment to a stabbing which took place outside a Dublin school earlier last Thursday. Some posts say: “the Army has been called on” following “the terrible stabbing of a woman and three children … at a school in Dublin”; “the situation in Dublin, Ireland has escalated extremely quickly, the Irish army are now involved.”; and also that “the Army is on the streets of Dublin”. 

Others say that the Army was called in, but don’t explicitly state the armoured vehicles were present as a result of the unrest. 

What have the Irish Defence Forces said?

The Irish Defence Forces posted on social media on the evening of the riot and said: “Images circulating of Defence Forces vehicles in Dublin City Centre are not from this evening, but from a separate routine operation and have no connection to this evening’s events.” 

We asked the Irish Defence Forces if the images they were referring to included the photographs of armoured vehicles we’d seen on Facebook. 

A spokesman for the Irish Defence Forces confirmed that those were the images they were referring to. He told Full Fact “these images are not from last night and have no connection to the evening’s events”, and added that “the Defence Forces did not deploy any personnel or assets in support of An Garda Síochána”, Ireland’s National Police and Security Service

False or misleading claims online have the potential to harm individuals, groups and democratic processes and institutions. Online claims can spread fast and far, and are difficult to contain and correct. 

Image courtesy of Stephen Barnes/Military.

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