A man in his late 30s has been arrested after a seven-hour standoff on scaffolding overlooking one of Cork’s busiest streets.

Slates were thrown from the top of the scaffolding and several cars were damaged during the incident which began on the city’s busy Washington St last night and ended peacefully in the early hours of this morning.

The street is one of the busiest pub and nightclub strips in the city centre and it was busy with revellers when the incident began.

Two private cars and a garda vehicle were damaged during the course of the incident over the next several hours but there were no reports of any injuries.

The man, who is from the northside of the city and who is known to gardai, was detained under the provisions of the mental health act.

It is understood that he has been assessed and is receiving the appropriate medical care.

The alarm was raised around 10.30pm last night when a man, described by witnesses as “disturbed and agitated”, scaled scaffolding which has been erected around a three-storey building on the corner of Courthouse St and Washington St.

He began shouting abuse at people on the street below before he began firing slates and roof tiles from the top of the scaffolding.

Gardai were called and a decision was taken to seal off the area to pedestrians and traffic in the interests of public safety.

Two units of Cork City Fire Brigade and an ambulance were tasked to the incident.

Several specialist garda units were put on standby and a trained garda negotiator who was brought to the scene began engaging with the man.

But he refused to leave the scaffolding and continued firing slates onto the road.

The negotiator spent several hours trying talk the man down.

But it was 5.30am before the man came down of his own accord and the various emergency services were stood down and the area was reopened to the public.

The was arrested at the scene and garda investigating are ongoing.

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