GARDAÍ sealed off a section of one of Cork’s busiest streets last night after a man in his 40s refused to leave a takeaway restaurant and threatened to set the building alight.
The defiant man remained at the Oliver Plunkett Street premises for over three hours before he was eventually coaxed out by a garda hostage negotiator. The man, who is believed to be Turkish, was carrying two cans of petrol.
It’s understood that he had a business-related grievance with the restaurant owners.
Once customers and staff were cleared out of the premises, a garda hostage negotiator was sent into the Istanbul kebab restaurant.
The gardaí armed response unit, armed detectives from Anglesea Street and the Bridewell Garda Station, a HSE ambulance and two units of Cork City Fire Brigade were also called to the scene.
For up to three hours, late night shoppers gathered around the garda cordon watching the scene unfold.
It is believed that the man was one of four people who entered the premises earlier in the evening. The four men, all believed to be of Turkish extraction, arrived at the restaurant at about 5.15pm and tied themselves to furniture in a ground floor backroom of the restaurant.
Gardaí were called to the scene and asked the four men to leave. According to gardaí, three of the four men complied immediately. However, the fourth refused to budge and said he would torch the building if forced to move.
After three hours of negotiation and after a sizeable Garda presence had built up, he eventually walked out of the building at 8.30pm and was arrested by gardaí under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
He was brought to the Bridewell Garda Station for questioning.
Superintendent Barry McPolin said that it was a “potentially very serious situation”.
“I am very pleased that we had a positive outcome with no loss of life or limb or any damage to the building,” he said last night.
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