A SHOCKING online video showing young women embroiled in a street fight in Waterford City Centre has gone viral.
The footage, filmed in broad daylight at the weekend and posted on social media, shows a group of women insulting and taunting each other by The Kiosk in John Roberts Square.
Two of the women wrestle each other to the ground and proceed to punch, bite and pull each other’s hair to chants of ‘”Kill her, Kill her” from some bystanders.
A number of onlookers attempt to intervene and break up the brawl, advising the women that they may be arrested.
An unaccompanied child wanders into the violent scene while a number of shoppers also attempt to make their way past the brawling women.
The three-minute video, which contains foul language, had been viewed more than 130,000 times on Facebook by yesterday (Monday) afternoon.
Gardaí have confirmed that they are aware of the incident and are investigating.
The ongoing issue of anti-social behaviour in John Roberts Square has regularly been raised in recent times, including Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) who has highlighted growing instances of teenage anti-social behaviour.
Speaking this week, Cllr Mulligan claimed the situation remains “as bad as ever” but is pleased that a group comprised of a number of relevant stakeholders has been established to address ongoing issues.
However, he says many businesses in the area, and particularly fast food outlets, remain concerned over the impact of disruptive gangs of teenagers.
The activities of such groups are also proving uncomfortable for customers, according to some business operators.
“There have been a number of worrying incidents recently,” said Cllr Mulligan.
“People have been spat at, have had footballs kicked at them, and have been insulted and abused. Fights between teenagers have also been organised through social media.”
Cllr Mulligan had personal experience of such behaviour when a firework almost hit his daughter Erin at Halloween.
“We can’t tarnish all teenagers but we want to target the ringleaders who are instigating this unacceptable behaviour,” he said.
“We 100 per cent welcome teenagers as they add to the vibrancy of the City Centre, but many people coming into Waterford City Centre at present say they feel uncomfortable.”
Cllr Mulligan said graffiti has been removed from a number of public realm spaces in the City Centre – some of which was advertising drugs for sale.
“We are aware of underage alcohol being consumed on the street and drugs being used,” he said.
Cllr Mulligan said he is pleased that a number of stop and searches are currently being conducted by Gardaí in the area.
While welcoming the ongoing efforts of Gardaí and other stakeholders, Cllr Mulligan has reiterated the importance of parental responsibility in dealing with such behaviour.