Members of the Garda riot squad were summoned to Naas Courthouse after the building was evacuated in the wake of a minor fire this afternoon.
The drama began around lunchtime when a fire, which apparently started in cells beneath the court building, activated smoke alarms.
A Circuit Court sitting, with Judge Michael O’Shea presiding, was taking place at the time.
Safety procedures meant that gardai trained in riot control were brought to Naas so that prisoners could be removed from the building in safety.
The operation was ongoing at 4pm today and at the same time court proceedings were taking place as normal inside.
The Leader understands that an incident may have arisen between a small number of the prisoners awaiting their cases and one may have been assaulted. It’s also believed that the presence of a large number of gardai at the side of the building and the closure of adjacent Basin Street to vehicles had more to do with procedure than a risk to public health or safety posed by the incident.