Muslim girl (16) punched and has her hijab torn off in suspected hate attack
A Muslim teenager had her hijab ripped from her head and was punched during a callous assault in south Dublin over the weekend.
The 16-year-old victim and her cousin were set upon by a group of teenagers as they walked along the Main Street in Dundrum.
The unprovoked assault was carried out at around 3.30pm on Sunday and captured on mobile phone footage.
A video of the incident shows at least two teenage girls approach the victims while a group of male juveniles watch.
Sources said the victim was punched but did not require hospital treatment.
Eggs were also thrown at the teenager and her relative, while her hijab was forcefully removed from her head.
The Garda press office said officers are investigating a number of incidents of public order and theft involving a group of youths in the area.
"One incident involves an alleged report of assault on a female which is circulating on social media," it said.
"The investigation will determine the motive behind these incidents; at this time the incidents are not believed to be racially motivated, investigations are continuing."
Gardaí are probing if the assault is connected to an incident the previous week in which a number of people were racially abused.
Officers were alerted to an incident on the Main Street, on Sunday, August 11, when a crowd of teenagers shouted racial slurs at another group of young people. "Efforts are being made to identify those involved and if there are any links between the incidents a week apart," a source said.
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan described the incident as a "callous" assault which should be condemned.
"Only the offenders themselves know if this was a crime motivated by racial hatred, misogyny or opportunistic malignance," Ms Madigan told the Irish Independent.
Gardaí have identified a gang of at least eight teenagers involved in Sunday's incident and were due to speak to their parents last night.
The teens are suspected of a number of thefts in the area, including stealing the eggs used to attack the girl.
They are also suspected of being responsible for vandalism on the same day.
Anyone with information or footage of the attack has been asked to contact Dundrum gardaí on 01 666 5600.