'Pure savagery': Witnesses describe mass brawl involving up to 70 youths in Cork estate

'Pure savagery': Witnesses describe mass brawl involving up to 70 youths in Cork estate
A still from one of the videos wide;y posted on social media.

“Pure savagery” is how witnesses described the mass brawl at Mount Oval on Saturday evening.

A group of up to 70 youths gathered in The Square before engaging in a brawl which lasted for up to 15 minutes.

Gerard Harrington, who lives in a nearby estate, was out for a walk at the time of the brawl and happened upon it after hearing shouts from a short distance away.

“When I came around the corner, there were girls with young kids in prams and they were scurrying up the road,” he said.

Mount Oval Fighting. still from video..
Mount Oval Fighting. still from video..

“It was very distressing for kids to see that. This didn’t happen on a dark night.”

Mr Harrington said he witnessed some people spill out onto the road fighting, and that there were multiple smaller fights happening concurrently in clusters.

“At one stage they got a guy on the ground,” he said.

“What we saw was savage. There were five or six of them laced into one guy on the ground.

“One of these nights there’ll be a fatality, and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s just sad to see.”

It is understood video footage from a number of different angles is being analysed by gardaí in order to identify youths who were involved.

“There’s a public health issue, and there’s a public order issue. What happened here in certain aspects was pure savagery, what I witnessed. Not because it was one-on-one, but because it was 10-on-one at one stage,” said Mr Harrington.

“If people had seen the gathering of teenagers, that’s obviously what was going to happen, so they should have called the guards then.”

Niamh, another local to the Mount Oval area, told The Echo she hadn’t witnessed the incident itself, but had seen a number of videos on social media.

“These guys are brainless and bored. That’s what it is. They met here because of the space not because of the place,” she said.

She added that she had been told youths had travelled from as far away as Ballincollig and Carrigaline, but said that for that amount of people to gather would have taken some time, and said the Gardaí should have been called immediately.

“If people had seen the gathering of teenagers, that’s obviously what was going to happen, so they should have called the guards then.”

Local councillor Mary Rose Desmond said the images she saw of the melee were “stark”, adding that she had no doubt it was an orchestrated gathering.

“I know we have had some anti- social behaviour issues, but this was a different level.

“Anti-social behaviour doesn’t cover what happened,” Ms Desmond said.

She also appealed for people to assist the gardaí in their inquiries into the incident.

“I’m looking as well for people to look at home.

“Was there anybody who wasn’t at home at that time last night that might have come home with any cuts or bruises or otherwise, or that may just have witnessed what actually happened?” she said.

“The only way we can manage to stamp this out is if we can take up that responsibility as well, and obviously that the gardaí continue to pursue this investigation very thoroughly.

“I think there would have to be charges made, and I would expect that there would be,” she said.

Gardaí have stepped up patrols in the area, and are investigating the circumstances of the incident.

They said no injuries have been reported to them, but this brawl followed a number of incidents earlier on Saturday evening when gardaí responded to reports of mass gatherings in Rochestown and Garryduff Woods.

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to contact Togher Garda Station 021 494 7120 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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