At least five people, including three children, have been hospitalized following a suspected stabbing incident near a school in Dublin city center on Thursday afternoon. 

An Garda Síochána (Irish police) said a "serious public order incident" took place on Parnell Square East, in Dublin, shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, leaving one man, one woman, and three children injured. 

Gardaí said one child, a five-year-old girl, has been hospitalized with serious injuries, while a five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl have been hospitalized with less serious injuries. 

The Irish Times reports that the chief suspect of the attack has been detained and suffered injuries during the attack. 

The Times additionally reports that a large knife has been recovered from the scene, while several publications have reported that the three children have been hospitalized with suspected stab wounds. 

Gardaí have sealed off the scene, with early indications suggesting that a man in his 50s attempted to attack several children in the area. 

A woman in her 30s was also injured in the attack and is being treated for serious injuries at the Mater Hospital. 

The Irish Times reports that passers-by intervened to prevent further attacks. 

Gardaí are attempting to determine a motive for the attack, but do not suspect any terrorist motivation, according to RTÉ News. 

The attack is being treated as an isolated and self-contained incident. 

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said in a statement that she was "deeply shocked by the appalling attack on three innocent children and a woman in Dublin today". 

"All our thoughts are with those injured, especially with the children, their parents and families, during this extremely difficult period," McEntee said in a statement. 

"It is my understanding that Gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry and are not looking for any other person at this time.

"This attack has shocked us all, and I have no doubt that the person responsible will be brought to justice." 

The incident took place outside the Coláiste Mhuire Gaelscoil on Parnell Scoil East as children were exiting the school shortly after 1:30 p.m. Children in the school are of primary school age between four and 12.