Armed gardai deployed after street stand-off

By Alan O'Keeffe and Cormac Murphy

ARMED gardai and the air support helicopter were deployed to north Dublin last night following fighting in Finglas.

A stand-off then developed between gardai and members of the travelling community after officers were called to the scene.

The incident unfolded at Avila Park in Finglas west, off Cappagh Road, where fighting broke out yesterday evening.

The Herald understands that feuding people from both Finglas and Coolock were involved.

One woman said: "Shortly before 10pm I saw two vans and a car driving away from Avila Park and they were completely smashed up and full of people.

"The windscreens, the side windows, the back windows were all gone but there was loads of people in the vans and the car. A garda van was driving straight behind them as they left.

"We thought there was something wrong when we saw the garda helicopter over the place," she said.

Another woman said: "My friend rang me to tell me that all she could hear was smashing, shouting and screaming."

Local people said residents of Heathfield housing estate were not allowed through a garda cordon.

Emergency services raced to the area after the violence began.

Dublin Fire Brigade sent two ambulances and a fire truck to the scene. A spokesman for the fire service said one patient was brought to hospital with head injuries.

A garda spokesman said there was a stand-off between officers and travellers.

Emergency service personnel had been called about the incident at 8.45pm.

By 10pm, a garda spokesman said officers had the situation contained but no arrests had been made.

Last night, there were a dozen marked and unmarked garda vehicles parked end to end in a bid to prevent any further violence breaking out.