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Gardaí dispersed crowds and confiscated alcohol on second night of gatherings in Dublin

Four people were arrested in Dublin on public order offences.

Image: PA Images

CROWDS GATHERED FOR a second night in a row in Dublin city centre as gardaí said a policing operation was in place.

Gardaí cleared large numbers of people from St Stephen’s Green and confiscated alcohol.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan had hit out at scenes of “enormous crowds” gathered in the capital on Saturday night.

Dr Holohan said it was what the country “does not need” after making so much progress pushing down cases of Covid-19.

Last night, there were again large numbers of people in the city centre.

Dr Holohan said he had driven into the city centre to collect someone from work at 8.15pm on Saturday, and was “absolutely shocked” by what he had seen.

“Drove into Dublin City Centre to collect someone from work at 8.15 pm. Absolutely shocked at scenes in South Great George’s St, Exchequer St, South William St area,” he tweeted.

“Enormous crowds – like a major open air party.

“This is what we do not need when we have made so much progress.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he shared the concerns voiced by the chief medical officer, but understood that people have had a “tough few months”.

“The weather is good and I would rather see people outdoors than indoors,” he told RTE Radio’s This Week programme.

A Garda spokesperson said a policing operation was in place in respect of the current public health regulations which limit the numbers attending organised events.

They said a crowd in the South William Street area was dispersed and four people were arrested for public order offences.

Crowds in the Temple Bar and St Stephen’s Green areas were also dispersed by gardaí.

Varadkar also suggested that local lockdowns remain an option for Government in the event of a future surge of cases of the virus.

He conceded that previous localised lockdowns had had “mixed results”, but added that he hoped such measures would not be needed.

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Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said the city needs more public spaces, more bins, and more garda presence.

“If you think I haven’t asked for this many times you’re sadly mistaken,” Chu said.

Coronavirus regulations remain in place across Ireland, however the country is looking forward to imminent relaxations.

From 2 June, hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation will be able to reopen as well as outdoor service in bars and restaurants.

On Friday night, Taoiseach Michéal Martin said that while the end of the pandemic was “within our grasp”, he urged the public to “remain vigilant against the terrible virus”.

A further 374 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were notified in Ireland yesterday.

The latest figures also said there were 99 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 35 were in intensive care.

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