Drunken youths as young as 10 are being blamed for St Patrick’s Day violence in a Dublin suburb which saw vehicles set alight and 17 people arrested.
As tens of thousands filled the city centre for a massive parade, scores of young people went on a day-long rampage around Finglas, hijacking and joyriding cars.
Gardaí said local officers on patrol called in the public order and air support units for help when the trouble flared up at about noon.
Finglas Sinn Féin councillor Dessie John Ellis said: “There’s no doubt that it was fuelled by alcohol, and some of them (youths) as young as 10.
“There’s a feeling of shock that this could happen. The last time we had incidents like this was around five years ago on St Patrick’s Day.
“Some of the cars were driving up on the footpath and knocking down poles, trees, you name it,” he said.
Gardaí said no officers were hurt and there were no reports of serious injuries among the public.
At about noon officers were called to deal with dangerous driving and joyriding incidents in the Berryfield Road and Glenties Drive areas.
Dublin Fire Brigade was called after one of the cars was set alight and a van was petrol bombed.
After about 60 youths began gathering, the public order unit, officers from Blanchardstown and the garda air support unit were drafted in.
At around 5.30pm a car was hijacked on Cardiffsbridge Road and an attempt was made by a gang to hijack a second.
Mr Ellis hit out the parents of those involved.
He said: “I certainly think that they should know where their children are, especially in the middle of a very serious situation.
“When we see so many positive things in Finglas and this happens, it really is so very frustrating for us all.”
A garda spokesman said the situation was eventually brought under control late last night and six wrecked cars were removed this morning by Dublin City Council.
He said no gardaí were injured and there were no reports of serious injuries to the public.
“All matters continue to be investigated,” he said.