Senior Muslim cleric says he was targeted in pre-planned hate crime attack

Chairman of Irish Muslim Council, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, attacked in Tallaght on Thursday

Gardaí and paramedics were called to the scene of a suspected hate-based attack in west Dublin on Thursday when a senior Muslim cleric was subjected to an assault during which he lost consciousness.

Chairman of the Irish Muslim Council, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, said the attack on him in Tallaght was a “deliberate hate crime attack”.

He said he had made an arrangement to meet two people in the area but was instead attacked, leaving him with facial injuries and damaged teeth. He believes the incident was pre-planned to target him.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the kind Irish lady and two Irish gentlemen who assisted me when I collapsed and safely helped me into my car,” he said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.


“I am currently receiving medical care at the hospital. Also, thank you my community members who have come immediately to my support. I was hospitalised last night and underwent a CT scan.”

While medical checks had “thankfully” revealed he suffered “no brain injury or broken jaw” the left side of his face was “severely swollen and my front teeth are damaged”.

“It appears that this was a planned attack, as I met two Irish individuals who had arranged a meeting in Tallaght,” he said. “The next thing I remember is feeling disoriented in my car, surrounded by helpful Irish neighbours of the area I was visiting, as the gardaí and ambulance arrived.

“I was injured and had lost consciousness, but my mobile phone was still with me, allowing me to contact my friends who arrived within 15 minutes. They took me to the hospital where I stayed overnight,” he said.

He was “doing alright, considering the circumstances”, saying “it could have been much worse”.

“Having lived in Ireland for 21 years, this has never happened to me. This incident doesn’t change the fact that I deeply appreciate and cherish Ireland and its people.”

In reply to queries, Garda Headquarters said gardaí in Tallaght were investigating a “robbery and assault” that occurred in the area on Thursday evening.

“One man required medical attention following the incident. Investigations are ongoing at this time,” it said.

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Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times