Gardaí have issued a strong warning to parents to be aware of what their teenagers are doing at night after questioning a 15-year-old boy about a fire which gutted a shop in a Cork suburb over the weekend.
They said more arrests are expected over the coming days arising out of the fire at Broadale Stores, near Douglas, on the southside of the city on Saturday night.
It is believed bins outside the shop were set alight, with the flames spreading to the shop and quickly taking hold.
Four units of the fire brigade, including three from Cork City and one from Carrigaline, fought the blaze. Several neighbouring retail units were evacuated, amid concerns that the blaze could spread to gas cylinders stored nearby, causing an explosion.
However, fire fighters managed to bring the blaze under control quickly and they remained on the scene for several hours dampening down the flames.
Following garda enquiries, a 15-year-old boy was arrested at his home on the southside of the city yesterday morning. He was brought to Togher garda station where, in the company of a parent, he was questioned about the incident.
He was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the National Juvenile Office and for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Gardaí said they expect to interview several more teenagers about the incident over the coming days.
Supt Charlie Barry said gardaí are aware that large numbers of teenagers from across the city have been gathering around the Mangela Woods area of Douglas.
Supt Barry said gardaí have responded to several complaints about underage drinking in the wooded area, and are concentrating extra garda resources in that area.
However, he said that when gardaí arrive on the scene, teenagers are able to leave the woods from various exits, only to gather there again later when gardaí leave.
“We are becoming increasingly concerned about the congregation of large numbers of teenagers, from right across the city, in this area,” he said.
One teenager, who was stopped by gardaí there recently, gave an address in Fairhill, on the northside of the city.
“Parents should know where their children are and what they are up to,” Supt Barry said.
He said gardaí will continue to monitor anti- social activity in the area and he encouraged anyone who witnesses anything suspicious to contact them immediately.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved