A teenager was arrested after a near-riot involving several groups of young people in Cork City at the weekend.
Shoppers were terrified as gangs threatened and squared up to each other near Bishop Lucey Park at around 3pm on Saturday.
The alarm was raised almost immediately and gardaí deployed every available resource to the scene after receiving initial reports that one person was seen carrying a sword, with concerns that others could be concealing weapons.
Uniformed officers in Garda cars, vans, on foot and on bike patrol, and members of the armed Regional Support Unit rushed to the city centre and the teens dispersed.
Gardaí chased dozens of those involved on foot from the Bishop Lucey Park area, along the Grand Parade, up Oliver Plunkett St, along the narrow Grafton Mall and Marlboro St, and onto St Patrick’s St.
Shoppers had to jump out of the way as groups of teenagers fled from gardaí.
Some of them ran into a clothes shop on St Patrick’s St where a young male, with an address in Ballincollig, was arrested.
Another male, matching the description of someone who may have been carrying a weapon, was stopped and searched but no weapons were found.
An incident involving some of the same teenagers flared in the centre again around 6pm but gardaí responded quickly and the gangs dispersed.
Gardaí noted the names and addresses of several individuals arising out of the first incident, and their investigations are ongoing to establish what led to the altercation.
There were suggestions last night that a fight between rival teenages gangs, who are known to gather at a city centre youth facility, had been arranged on social media.
Meanwhile, arsonists last night torched old Christmas trees left at a Cork City Council recycling location.
Cork City Fire Brigade and gardaí were called to Clashduv Park, near Deanrock Estate, at around 9pm to deal with the blaze.
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