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Hospital terror as gang thugs battle in front of patients

A PITCHED battle involving around 60 men spilled over into a hospital's A&E unit after breaking out in a housing estate.

Knives, bats and clubs were produced during the mass brawl on Thursday evening.

Terrified residents in Tallaght's Maplewood estate had to barricade themselves in their homes as the opposing factions scrapped.

There were multiple injuries and at least one car was smashed.

A senior source told the Herald: "This was a very serious situation – it is a miracle that no one was seriously injured."

It is understood that the two gangs were made up of foreign nationals and local Travellers.

A number of Garda patrol cars, including armed units, responded to the brawl and three young men were arrested at the scene – one youth from a nearby housing estate and two foreign men with addresses in the Alderwood Grove estate.

Two vehicles were also seized by gardai, who eventually stopped the trouble at around 10.30pm.

INJURIES

However, the situation escalated again in Tallaght Hospital, where some of those involved in the brawl were being treated for their injuries.

Fighting between the factions kicked off again at the hospital in front of shocked patients.

That situation was defused after gardai were called and no arrests were made at the hospital.

Local Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe pointed out: "There are many good, decent people in Maplewood and they are living in terror – this situation has been brewing for some time.

"What happened on Thursday night should be considered a proper wake-up call to the authorities.

"We are talking here about an area that has got no extra resources, despite a huge influx of people into the area in recent years.

"Anti-social behaviour has been an increasing problem there particularly over the past week with the weather being so good.

"We have a situation where people are drinking all day and urinating in the green."

One local resident who asked not to be named said: "There were more than 60 of them, and they were running all over the street and striking fear into everybody.

"People ran into their homes and locked the doors, and elderly people who live alone were fleeing in tears into their neighbours because they were so terrified," she added.

THREATENING

"There were running battles between the gangs. It's been threatening to kick off here for a long time now and we are just sick to death of it at this stage.

"One of their cars was smashed up and there were running battles with sticks as they took over the whole road, and the next thing the guards arrived and had to chase them through the park."

hnews@herald.ie


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