A man is receiving medical treatment after he was arrested while brandishing what appeared to be a gun near a creche.
Parents dropping their children off at the community creche at Cushing Place, Farranree, on the northside of Cork City, spoke of their terror and of how they shielded their children as the terrifying incident unfolded just after 9am yesterday.
Members of the armed Garda Regional Support Unit and local detective units were tasked to the scene after initial reports suggested the man was pointing a gun at people.
One mother, Claire, said she was absolutely terrified when she saw the man standing in the garden of his house, and point the weapon at her and her son.
“He was less than 10ft away from us. I was shaking but my only thought was to protect my child,” she told Neil Prendeville on RedFM.
“He started waving a gun and pointing it at us standing in a shooting mode. Then he started directing the gun towards other people and at traffic.”
She stood in front of her son and walked sideways to the creche from where gardaí were alerted.
Another woman, Sarah, a passenger in a car parked near the man’s house, threw herself across the back seat to protect a child when she saw him pointing the gun.
“I did not know if it was a real gun or a pellet gun. It looked like a black handgun to me. Then the guards pulled up alongside me and they pulled back when they saw the gun. He was daring them to come and get him.”
However, the man, aged 39, dropped the weapon quickly, and was arrested and detained under the provisions of mental health legislation. The weapon was soon confirmed to be an imitation firearm. The man was taken to the Mercy University Hospital for treatment. Gardaí said they will wait for medical clearance before interviewing him.
A senior garda said: “It was a frightening incident, particularly in view of the killing of one of our colleagues on Sunday in Louth.”
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