Hunt for teens who pushed Chinese woman into canal

Gardaí investigating alleged hate crime
Hunt for teens who pushed Chinese woman into canal

Xuedan (Shelly) Xiong was pushed into a Dublin canal by a group of youths on Friday evening.

Gardaí are working to identify the youths involved in an alleged hate crime that saw a woman pushed into a Dublin canal.

A video posted on social media shows a group of young males laughing as two boys pushed the woman into the Royal Canal near Ashtown.

Just before the incident on Friday evening, the woman had challenged a group of young people about racial discrimination.

Xuedan (Shelly) Xiong, who lives in Castleknock, and is a member of Dublin’s Chinese community, felt she was targeted by teenage boys.

A member of the first group came up close to her on his bike, almost pushing her into the canal and she screamed.

After imitating her scream and laughing they left and she continued with her walk but within minutes she met the second group of teenage boys.

Xuedan Xiong said she has experienced racial abuse during her 14 years in Ireland but this is the first time she has been physically assaulted.
Xuedan Xiong said she has experienced racial abuse during her 14 years in Ireland but this is the first time she has been physically assaulted.

“One of them looked into my eyes and said to me: ‘coronavirus',” she recalled during an interview on RTÉ radio.

A third group, that included some of the teenage boys who had previously walked and cycled by, then passed by shouting “Chinese noodles” and “fried noodles.” 

There were lots of women walking alone at the time but she felt that the young people had targeted her.

She accused the youths of racial discrimination and to desist and they turned away from her.

Ms Xiong went after them and a video posted on social media shows two members of the group pushing her into the water.

It was not the first time that Ms Xiong has experienced racial abuse since coming to Ireland 14 years ago but it was the first time she had been physically assaulted.

Gardaí are working to identify the young people involved in the alleged hate crime.
Gardaí are working to identify the young people involved in the alleged hate crime.

She was not physically hurt and pulled herself back onto the path as the boys ran off. 

She waited for a while with three “kind” people after calling the gardaí but they never came.

Ms Xiong later went to Blanchardstown Garda Station to report the incident and an investigation is underway.

Asked if she was happy that she challenged the gang of youths, she said she did not know if she was “brave or stupid” because there were about 15 or more in the group.

“I’m a small middle-aged Chinese woman and without those three kind people staying with me I bet they would have come back and thrown me into the water again.”

Ms Xiong said she had a ten-year-old son who went to a local school near the canal and worried about his safety.

A garda spokesman said An Garda Síochána took hate crime seriously and every hate crime was professionally investigated and victims supported during the criminal justice process.

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