CORK communities are being urged to remain alert and vigilant to antisocial behaviour heading into the summer.
It follows a number of incidents reported across Cork at the weekend, where in one case in the region of 70 young people descended on Mount Oval and engaged in an alleged brawl.
The incident took place shortly after 8pm on Saturday night.
Deirdre Hourihane, a local resident and a member of the Mount Oval Residents Association said that she was “shocked and appalled” by the behaviour but was particularly concerned about seeing children involved in such behaviour.
“It is disappointing and worrying that children are in a place where they think this is normal behaviour,” she said.
Ms Hourihane said she was approached by one youth, who said he was not from the area, and said she believed that groups from several areas may have been involved.
“This is less about where it took place. It could take place anywhere,” she said.
Gardaí say they will be taking part in proactive patrols in the area and are investigating a number of videos circulating on social media showing a large-scale disturbance.
While no injuries have been reported to gardaí in relation to the incident at Mount Oval, Ms Hourihane said that when she saw the crowds all she could think about was the potential that someone’s child could get seriously hurt.
“You hear about accidents, about someone falling, or hitting their head, and ending up in CUH,” she said.
This is a concern that was echoed by Fianna Fail Cllr Mary Rose Desmond and local Labour representative Peter Horgan.
“We are very lucky nobody was seriously injured,” said Cllr Desmond.
The South East ward representative suggested a “perfect storm” of elements may have contributed to the events on Saturday night.
“Heading into the summer there is a lot of pent up tension right across the board, we have this case where school is out for summer, and we have better weather,” she said.
While Cllr Desmond said she wouldn’t expect to see an incident on this scale again in the same area, she warned that increased vigilance is needed.
“The most important thing now is that people remain vigilant and they follow up with gardaí,” she said.
Meanwhile, Labour representative for the South East ward Peter Horgan said any parents of young people who could not account for where their children were at the weekend need to ask them about their whereabouts.
“People have missed funerals. Grandparents haven’t held their grandchildren. This [the gathering] makes a mockery of the restrictions” he said.
Separately, gardaí are continuing investigations into a public order incident at Ballynoe Hill in Cobh at around 11.30pm on Saturday night.
A male youth was arrested and has since been released without charge.
Gardaí are also investigating an alleged assault which took place on the Liam Healy Road On Sunday evening.
One man was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) and two males received non-serious injuries.