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Gardaí to crack down on teens carrying out assaults in Dublin and posting videos to TikTok

One teenage boy ended up in a coma.

GARDAÍ HAVE LAUNCHED a crackdown on roving gangs of teenagers in north Dublin who are attacking random youths and posting the footage to social media. 

Gangs of young people, sometimes numbering in their dozens, have been assaulting random people in the Cabra area since before Christmas.

The attacks, according to locals, have become more serious in recent weeks.

In January, one boy was put in an induced coma after suffering serious head injuries in one incident.

In another incident, a teenager was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. 

There have been numerous other “very serious assaults”, according to Sinn Féin’s Séamas McGrattan who is on Cabra’s Local Policing Committee.

“I know of a number of people who have ended up in hospital. There was one case in which a teenage boy was in a coma for three or four days. Another lad ended up in Beaumont Hospital with very serious head injuries,” McGrattan told The Journal.

A leaflet was sent around the local Cabra area by the local policing committee warning parents about the attacks and that the footage is being uploaded to TikTok, a social media platform used to share short videos which is mainly used by younger people.

The violence has been ongoing for a number of weeks and allegedly led to the formation of some groups which have formed to retaliate against those who originally carried out random attacks.

The attacks are being posted to social media and are now being organised online, according to McGrattan.

Some groups are using the Luas line to travel into the area. In one incident at the Broombridge stop, a large group of dozens of teenagers were intercepted by gardaí.

“There are children as young as nine years of age who were there. There were about 50 or 60 of them there. Luckily, the gardaí were able to intercept these lads before they were able to cause any trouble,” McGrattan said.

One a different occasion in January, officers were able to stop more violence. Some of those present were caught carrying baseball bats and pitchforks.

Gardaí are aware of the trend and representatives of three stations which police different areas of Cabra and its environs met to discuss the issue last week.

Investigators have contacted local schools and have given talks about the dangers of these incidents.

‘The age-profile is worrying’

Independent councillor Cieran Perry warned that it is only a matter of time before someone gets “seriously injured or worse”.

He told The Journal: “The age-profile is worrying. Most of them are in their early teens. To be fair to gardaí, they’ve been on top of it once it emerged. They have been going into schools and I think that’s important that they do that.”

Perry also said the posting of videos online sometimes allowed incidents to become “riled up”.

“It’s a serious problem which has gone under the radar here. I think it’s important that parents know what’s happening and then we can try to stop it,” he added.

McGrattan also believes that groups are trying to “one-up” each other, leading to further escalation.

“If someone posts one video, the next one has to be better and more violent than the last one. That’s the kind of thing which is happening,” he said.

“It started as being random. But now whole families are getting involved because their relatives got beaten up. This is only going to end up getting worse and worse until something terrible happens.”

A spokesman for An Garda Síochána said: “There are three Garda Districts/two Garda Divisions covering the Cabra Area.

“Gardaí in Cabra are aware of a number of public order incidents which are subsequently being posted on various social media platforms.

“Gardaí are investigating these incidents in collaboration with other Garda districts within this catchment area.

“Cabra Gardaí, together with all the other relevant agencies, will continue to proactively engage with Cabra Youth to reduce such incidents occurring.”

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