Armed gardaí arrest teens on school grounds

Armed gardaí arrested two teenagers on the grounds of a large primary school in Cork yesterday as shocked children looked on.

The suspects were arrested by members of the Cork City Regional Support Unit (RSU) as well as plainclothes detectives after they fled into the main building of St Anthony’s Boys National School in Ballinlough.

There were hundreds of pupils in classes at the time celebrating their last day in school before the summer break.

Fortunately, the armed gardaí did not have to draw their weapons and brought the incident under control quickly.

The principal of St Anthony’s, Flor O’Sullivan, praised, the gardaí’s swift and professional response.

“They were on the scene within seconds and had the whole place surrounded,” he said.

The RSU was tasked earlier after reports of an attempted break-in at a property in a housing estate in the nearby Douglas area at about 10am.

An alert neighbour spotted suspicious activity and contacted gardaí.

The RSU rushed to the scene amid initial reports that the break-in suspects may have been armed.

When the RSU arrived in the area, two individuals were spotted running from the estate.

Other Garda units were alerted as members of the RSU pursued the suspects on foot and tracked them to the grounds of St Anthony’s.

Mr O’Sullivan was standing inside the main door of the school building, with two members of his board of management, when two teenagers arrived.

“They walked in and they looked very suspicious and I asked them what they were doing,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

“They said they were looking for their brother and I said you never had a brother here and to get out of the school.

“They turned to leave and within seconds, the gardaí were shouting ‘get down on the ground’. It was all over in a few seconds.”

Two males were arrested at the scene, aged 16 and 17, both with addresses on the northside of Cork City.

They were detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and were taken to the Bridewell Garda Station for questioning, where they can be held for up to 24 hours.

More in this section