Fact Check: Image Of Armored Vehicles Is NOT From November 23 Riots -- Irish Army Says Picture Not Connected & From Other Time

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Image Of Armored Vehicles Is NOT From November 23 Riots -- Irish Army Says Picture Not Connected & From Other Time Separate Event

Did the Irish government deploy military vehicles to stop people expressing public outrage about the stabbings of children and a woman in Dublin? No, that's not true: According to the Irish Defence Forces, an image that showed military vehicles in Dublin posted on X on November 23, 2023, had "no connection" to an attempt by riot police to stop rioting that night in the Irish capital over these attacks. The Irish Defence Forces confirmed to Lead Stories that the vehicles seen in this X post were part of a "separate routine operation" that took place on another date.

The claim (archived here) appeared on X, formerly Twitter, on November 23, 2023. It read:

The treacherous Irish government has called the army on its own people. The Irish government doesn't give a shit about the woman and children stabbed today. Absolute traitors. #Ireland #IrelandBelongsToTheIrish

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of the writing of this fact check:

image (57).png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Nov 24 17:08:43 2023 UTC)

The post appeared after violent clashes in Dublin on the evening of November 23, 2023, between riot police and crowds who, The Irish Times reported, set ablaze public transportation and looted at least 13 stores. The rioters had taken to the streets following reports that a man with a knife had injured one adult and three children, including one 5-year-old girl who remains in critical condition.

On November 23, 2023, the Irish Defence Forces, the Irish military, posted on its X account (archived here) that social media images of Irish Defence Forces vehicles in downtown Dublin were not from that evening:

Lead Stories contacted the Irish Defence Forces' press team to ask if this announcement addressed the image that is the focus of this fact check. In a November 24, 2023, email, assistant press officer for the Irish Defence Forces, Eoin Clancy (archived here), confirmed that the X post was included in their public service announcement (PSA):

Correct, the X post you referred to is in relation to that image and was issued to prevent the spread of disinformation. We cannot confirm the exact time that those vehicles were out, but we can confirm that it was not in any way connected to the events of the evening.
The Defence Forces conduct routine driving and training exercises both in Dublin City and beyond very regularly. Terenure is close to Cathal Brugha Barracks and is also on the route from our training area in the Glen of Imaal to Cathal Brugha Barracks, and military vehicles in this part of the city is a regular occurrence.
Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to riots can be found here.

Updates:

  • 2023-11-25T11:03:19Z 2023-11-25T11:03:19Z
    Updated the headline to better reflect the content of the image that was circulating.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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