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Dublin: 16°C Saturday 31 July 2021

Are you going to any of the Phoenix Park gigs? Leave the booze behind

Following controversial concerts in the park last year, Gardaí promised a “robust policing plan” this summer, while the OPW insisted on “trouble-free bands”.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 20:24

EARLIER TODAY GARDAÍ said they will be adopting a low tolerance policy about consuming alcohol and disruptive conduct, including outdoor urination, during the upcoming music gigs at the Phoenix Park.

A “robust policing plan” has been put in place ahead of the Justin Timberlake, The Killers and Mumford & Sons concerts this month following last year’s Swedish House Mafia performance which was marred by numerous stabbings and drugs-related deaths.

Speaking at a press briefing earlier, Superintendent John Quirke said gardaí will be carrying out intense searches for alcoholic beverages as people make their way to the concert site.

He said that while they wanted ticketholdeers to enjoy themselves, they also want them to be “cognisant of the locality they are going to and the residents and the other people who live in close proximity of the park and who may be inconvenienced”.

Last year, just 158 gardaí policed the now-infamous gig but that figure will be bumped to over 200 this summer. There will also be a particular emphasis on areas outside the Phoenix Park, which saw much of the trouble. The organisers have also provided 125 additional stewards for the areas.

(YouTube: SineadOCarrollTJ)

Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, the arm of MCD organising the events, said the Office of Public Works put them through a vigorous process ahead of granting permission.

Those requests included significant restrictions on the type of acts that could play.

“We went for acts that would be, for want of a better word, trouble free,” explained Benn.

He said his company were committed to being in the Phoenix Park for “many, many years”, calling it one of the parks of Europe in a city which loves music.

Chief Superintendent Declan Cobern told reporters that gardaí had researched the bands and groups in order to gauge the “typical crowd” and what goes on at their concerts. If anything problematic was spotting, gardaí can focus on targets, he explained.

First published 13:54.

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