Nine people were arrested in Cork yesterday for public order and other offences.
It came as 'large numbers' of people socialised in the city centre during the early evening.
Gardaí say members of the public were 'overwhelmingly compliant' with the public health guidelines.
However, they intervened with a group of young males "suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of illegal drugs".
One of the males is alleged to have ran from gardaí, but was caught and arrested after a brief chase.
Gardaí say footage of the incident has been widely shared on social media.
They say a 'quantity of suspected cocaine' was recovered, while a garda received minor facial injuries during the incident.
In total, nine people were arrested in relation to the incident and 'mainly related' minor public order incidents.
Four men have been released pending the completion of a file for the DPP; one man has been charged with public order offences; one man will be offered an Adult Caution; and teenage boys will be processed through the Juvenile Diversion Programme.
The arrests came amid reports of large crowds in the city centre during the early evening.
In a statement, gardaí said: "On Saturday evening between approximately 5pm and 9pm large numbers of people socialised in Cork City Centre.
"The high visibility of members on the street greatly assisted in engaging with the public who were overwhelmingly compliant with Public Health guidelines, gardaí identified that most persons present were part of family groups and bubbles that were in the city to see the Christmas lights, window shopping and enjoying take away festive drinks and food.
"Cork City centre was quiet after 9pm. Gardaí nationwide observed significant compliance by members of the public with public health regulations and guidelines."
The force says it will continue to support COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, but is committed to "acting in a proportionate manner and working with the community to achieve compliance".