Cork hostage stand-off: At one stage, gardaí 'concerned they were all dead'

Cork hostage stand-off: At one stage, gardaí 'concerned they were all dead'

Update 4pm, by Eoin English: An internal family dispute is believed to have triggered a tense four-hour hostage stand-off on the northside of Cork city this morning which resulted in armed gardaí making a forced entry into a house and tasering a man.

Two brothers in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, and their mother and her partner, both in their 50s, were taken to hospital with superficial injuries after gardaí smashed in the front door, and managed to overpower the suspects and bring the incident to a successful conclusion just before 9am.

The alarm was raised at around 4.30am when gardaí were alerted that a 28-year-old, who is known to gardaí, had taken members of his own family hostage in his family home at St Mary’s Place, off Cathedral Road.

The man had barricaded himself into a room inside with his older brother, his mother, and her partner held hostage, and was engaging in “threatening behaviour”, a senior garda spokesman said.

It is understood that the man had threatened to harm his mother and her partner, and that gardaí would discover a horror scene if they came into the house.

'At one stage, we were concerned that they were all dead'

Gardaí, including members of the armed Regional Support Unit (RSU), rushed to the scene and threw a cordon around nearby streets.

They also imposed a media blackout while a trained garda negotiator tried to make contact with the suspect.

Paramedics and fire crews were on standby nearby while gas company workers were asked to check the gas supply to the house amid concerns that an attempt could be made to trigger an explosion.

“However, all attempts to negotiate with the suspect, either by telephone or through family members, were unsuccessful. We had little interaction with him at the scene,” the garda spokesman said.

“He was threatening in his manner and we were genuinely concerned for the safety of the people inside the house. At one stage, we were concerned that they were all dead.”

When it became clear that negotiations weren’t progressing, senior gardaí in consultation with the on-scene commander and the inspector in charge of the RSU, made a decision to make a forced-entry into the house.

Members of the RSU smashed down the front door and entered the house, where they came under attack from upstairs, where the suspect was believed to be holding his brother, his mother and her partner hostage in a bedroom.

Gas bottles, dumbbells and mirrors were thrown down the stairs at them before another standoff ensued.

Over the next few minutes, gardaí managed to negotiate the release of the suspect’s mother, who, despite being bloodied from several cuts to her head, was able to walk from the house. She was taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment.

Gardaí then forced their way upstairs, and into the bedroom where they tasered the suspect. His brother, while not tasered, also had to be overpowered.

Both men were medically assessed and arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment before being taken to Mayfield Garda Station where they are still being detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. They can be held for up to 24-hours before being charged or released.

Their mother’s partner was also taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment for what were described as minor injuries.

Update 12.33pm: Two brothers have been arrested after they barricaded themselves in a house where a woman was with her partner, it has emerged.

Gardaí said the woman and her partner were injured in the incident on St Mary's Avenue, off Cathedral Road, in Cork city.

Cork hostage stand-off: At one stage, gardaí 'concerned they were all dead'

The alarm was raised at about 4.30am after reports that two men had barricaded themselves and others inside.

The incident led to a stand-off lasting more than four hours with the arrests made at around 9am.

Uniformed and armed officers and emergency services including ambulances attended the house along with a garda negotiator.

The road was sealed off for several hours while the operation was underway.

The two brothers, both in their 20s, were taken to Mayfield garda station under arrest for questioning after gardaí made their way into the house.

The woman and the third man involved in the incident, both in their 50s, were taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment. Their injuries were described as minor.

Thomas Gould, a local Cork City Councillor, said the area where the incident took place is quiet, residential and safe.

"It's a quiet resident area with a mixture of older people and younger families who have moved in," he said.

Mr Gould was driving his children to a nearby school when the incident was drawing to a close.

"I've personally never heard of a situation like that in Cork," he said.

“From talking to people this morning they were shocked. They would not be used to this kind of thing happening. This is an area that you could walk day or night.

“I hope everyone is OK; the main thing is that everyone is alright."

Earlier:

Two men have been arrested in connection what gardaí have described as a "barricade incident" at a house in Cork city this morning.

At approximately 4.30am this morning, gardaí were alerted to the incident at a house on St Mary's Avenue, Cork.

A Garda negotiator attended the scene.

Three men and one woman were reported as being in the house.

The incident concluded shortly after 9am this morning.

Two men aged in their 20s were arrested and brought to Mayfield Garda Station where they are now being detained.

A man and a woman in their 50s were taken to Cork University Hospital with injuries described as minor.


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