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'I had to tell my kids they were safe' - RTÉ's Brian O'Donovan

RTE's man in Washington feels the effects of violent protests on the streets near his home

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FAMILY MAN: RTE's Washington correspondent with his wife Joanna and daughters Lucy (10) and Erin (6)

FAMILY MAN: RTE's Washington correspondent with his wife Joanna and daughters Lucy (10) and Erin (6)

FAMILY MAN: RTE's Washington correspondent with his wife Joanna and daughters Lucy (10) and Erin (6)

Last Monday, Brian O'Donovan stepped outside to find his quiet, leafy neighbourhood, a short walk from the White House, burned and charred. Buildings were vandalised, shops looted.

Seven days after the horrific killing of George Floyd, who died when a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nine minutes, the streets of Washington DC had just reopened following the Covid-19 lockdown. But as RTE's Washington correspondent surveyed the scene, construction workers were arriving to board up the shop fronts again and images of American flags tossed on bonfires were on news stands.

And yet it wasn't until O'Donovan's children, Lucy (10) and six-year-old Erin, came to him with questions that he realised just how close the story had come.