Calls for parents to 'step up' after Mount Oval mass teenage brawl

Social media was awash with images and video from Mount Oval on Saturday evening, where a large cohort of teenagers gathered to engage in violence.
Calls for parents to 'step up' after Mount Oval mass teenage brawl

Parents and guardians have been urged to step up their vigilance at home following shocking brawls between youths seen in Rochestown and Cobh over the weekend.Social media was awash with images and video from Mount Oval on Saturday evening, where a large cohort of teenagers gathered to engage in violence.

Witnesses claimed the scene seemed to be an organised and coordinated one.

Gardaí are investigating after several units were dispatched from Togher and Douglas. They have appealed to anyone with information about the incident, or concerns about anti-social behaviour, to contact their local garda station.

City councillor in the area, Mary Rose Desmond, said the scenes should make "some people look inward".

"Parents are not to blame for everything that a wayward teenager does, and it would be unfair to cast aspersions on parenting as a knee-jerk reaction. However, this was orchestrated and arranged. That means besides the anti-social behaviour element to it, lockdown restrictions were also breached.

"Gardaí reacted quickly, and we are lucky to have excellent community gardaí in the area, and the onus is on them to investigate. But people need to look inward and open their eyes at home. The hard questions need to be asked. Gardaí need assistance from parents and guardians in matters such as anti-social behaviour."

The Fianna Fáil councillor said most young people had been a source of pride during lockdown, and that the entire group did not deserve to be tarred with the same brush.

I have spoken to young people since the incident, and they have been as appalled as the rest of us. The last thing we want is for the goodwill created by the vast majority of young people since the pandemic began to be marred by the actions of a few.

Labour Party local area representative Peter Horgan has said that a zero tolerance approach is needed in curbing large gatherings following the incident in Mount Oval.

“We’re sticking our heads in the sand if we think this wasn’t organised,” said Mr Horgan.

“It needed to be addressed right now under whatever powers are available to Gardaí. Not only was this a public health breach it was a dangerous event that could have easily seen someone seriously hurt. Videos circulating online show that.

"In the same way Gardaí tackled organised plans last November to rob a sports store in Cork city they should be afforded the tools and resources needed to stamp Out these such gatherings. Parental responsibility is crucial here.

"Covid restrictions still apply. We are still meant to stay at home. These sort of organised fights make a mockery of the Covid fight," he said.

Meanwhile in Cobh, there were also reports of around 50 young people gathered in Cobh on Saturday evening, with gardaí also called to disperse the crowd on a number of occasions. One person was eventually arrested, while another was taken away in an ambulance after being injured climbing a fence.

The incident in the Ballynoe area of Cobh comes after reports during the week of groups disregarding social distancing measures in the town.

Despite the youth being injured and taken away in an ambulance, gardaí had to again return to the scene later where another young person was arrested. The youth's parents were called to the garda station upon which he was released.

Incidents have been taking place around the country in recent days. Fianna Fáil TD Seán Haughey said gardaí will be increasing patrols of public areas to stop gangs of teenagers which have been frightening communities in Dublin.

Deputy Haughey said there were two recent attacks in Baldoyle and Portmarnock by large gangs of teenagers.

Coolock Garda Station said it had "refocused the policing operation from high density checkpoints to patrols of open amenity areas with a particular focus on youths and young adults."

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