Gardaí mount patrols on Cork city buses: Knife crime and violent incidents raise concerns

Gardaí mount patrols on Cork city buses: Knife crime and violent incidents raise concerns
A mass brawl in Mount Oval recently

GARDAÍ are mounting patrols on Cork city buses that have been identified as 'trouble routes' following a number of violent incidents and concerns around knife crime.

Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said gardaí in the city are working closely with Bus Eireann and have begun patrols on a number of problem bus routes.

It follows a recent stabbing of a teenager in Carrigaline, a mass brawl in Mount Oval in Rochestown, and a fracas on the main street in Ballincollig.

In the Mount Oval incident, it's believed young people travelled on buses to engage in organised fighting.

A person has been charged in relation to the Carrigline stabbing, where the public bus route was also used, while other teens have been interviewed and a file is being prepared for DPP.

Chif Supt McPolin said a new city centre street crime unit will be effective in tackling anti-social behaviour and knife crime.

"We want to make Cork a safe city and want to clamp down on anti-social behaviour, including knife crime."

Garda Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Garda Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Last year, there were more than 140 seizures of knives, shivs and other such weapons made by gardaí in Cork, up from 130 the previous year.

In the past week, there have been two serious incidents of knife crime before the courts.

On Friday, a man was sentenced to 12 years in prison, with two suspended, for stabbing a woman in her home last December, and threatening to kill her.

Thomas O’Sullivan from Silvercourt, Silversprings was sentenced at Cork Circuit Court for the December 23 attack.

In her victim impact statement, the victim, who is a mother of three children, said: “He began to stab me all over my body. He pushed me back on a bunk bed. I thought he was going to rape me. He kept stabbing me and the knife was tied to his wrist like a charm bracelet.”

On Thursday, a 19-year-old, Childo Emeaugbor, which sentenced to two and a half years in prison, with six months suspended, for a stabbing in Mallow last November.

In the incident, a 17-year-old boy was left with a scar on his face after being stabbed with a Stanley knife. Garda evidence related that the victim was attacked after refusing to hand over his mobile phone to his attacker.

There have also been a number of serious knife incidents in Cork in the past year.

June: A teen was stabbed in the Waterpark area of Carrigaline on June 6. Another teenager has been charged in connection with the incident while a number of others have been interviewed by gardaí. The injured teen was taken to hospital and subsequently discharged.

April: A man was stabbed in Pearse Square in Ballyphehane, a short time after arriving there with a number of other people. Witnesses raised the alarm after seeing two groups of men, armed with bats and knives, involved in a disturbance on Pearse Square.

January: Ballinascarthy student Cameron Blair was stabbed to death on Bandon Road on January 16. A teen is serving a life sentence.

December 2019: A man was assaulted in a house in Skibbereen and suffered one stab wound.

October 2019: A man was stabbed while sitting in his car with his young daughter on North Main Street.

September 2019: 55-year-old Paul Jones was found dead in his home on Bandon Road. His son found him dead after going to his home when he couldn’t get in contact with him. His sister Helen Jones of 27 Cahergal Avenue, Mayfield, was charged with burglary, and with possession of a knife contrary to Section 13 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act. Keith O’Hara, also of 27 Cahergal Avenue, Mayfield, was charged with trespass to commit an assault causing harm. Both were later charged with his murder.

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