Teenagers who were filmed engaging in a mass brawl on the southside of Cork city can expect a visit from gardaí soon and may face criminal charges.
That was the warning from Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin who said gardaí are now satisfied they have identified the vast majority of those who were involved in what's believed to have been a planned fight in the Mount Oval estate in Rochestown almost two weeks ago.
There were violent scenes when up to 70 teenagers clashed in the estate on May 23. Video clips of the incident were shared online, sparking outrage.
Gardaí have been examining CCTV and phone video footage of the incident and have been liaising with Bus Éireann to identify the travel patterns of certain groups of teenagers who used bus routes which serve the suburbs of Douglas and Rochestown.
Chief Superintendent McPolin said gardaí will be ready soon to call to the homes of a number of those who have been identified to discuss the findings of their investigation with them and with their parents.
He said consideration is being given to the referral of certain cases to the Juvenile Diversion Programme, designed specifically for children under 18 which involves the young person receiving a caution from gardaí against committing certain types of behaviour, and in some circumstances the child being placed under the supervision of a juvenile liaison officer.
But he said some files could be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions where the possibility of criminal charges are considered.
“There will be serious repercussions for those involved in this incident. Significant garda resources were devoted to this investigation at a time when those resources could have been used elsewhere,” he said.
Video footage of the brawl was shared widely on various social media and messaging apps. Some clips show several young boys being punched and kicked in the head.
Another clip recorded by a person involved in the fight features audio of a young girl laughing and encouraging those involved in the fighting to carry on.
Chief Supt McPolin repeated his appeal to parents to take responsibility for knowing where their children are during the ongoing lockdown, who they are with, and to ask questions if their children arrive home under the influence of alcohol, or showing signs of an assault.
Meanwhile, following residents' complaints about a string of parties around the university area of Cork City, many non-socially distant gatherings around the country over the bank holiday weekend and the thousands who gathered for the Black Lives Matter rallies in Dublin, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan has reiterated that mass gatherings should not be organised and should not be attended.]