One Direction gigs: Specialist stewards to be employed at Croke Park
Four out of every five gig goers will be aged between five and 18 – and plans have been put in place to protect them
SPECIALIST stewards who have experience of dealing with young children will be brought in to help police the One Direction concerts at Croke Park later this month.
With 80pc of those attending the gigs between the age of five and 18, gardai and organisers are taking additional precautions to protect the young patrons at the gigs.
The concert will see the use for the first time of 'tag-a-kid' wristbands which will have a space for parents or guardians to write the seat number and phone numbers in the event that children get separated from their guardians.
Eamon Fox, event controller for MCD said the stadium had put a lot of thought into the age group of the patrons attending.
"We've looked at the security staff we have, at the female male ratio. The type of security staff that we have that we're using volunteers from camoige clubs and various other clubs that are used to dealing with children. So we've taken great cognisance of the fact that it's a young audience," he addedd.
Fans and parents have also been warned that they will not be permitted to queue overnight or in the hours prior to the upcoming Croke Park concerts.
Mr Fox appealed for people not to queue early and warned that the promoters would have security out on the streets in advance of the concert preventing people from queueing before 5pm.
"We'd strongly appeal in particular to each and every parent of children under the age of 18 attending not to allow their children to queue early, that children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times and that children under 14 won't be allowed on the pitch and we will have screenings and we will have security on hand to set that up," he said.
Superintendent Kevin Gralton told the briefing that close to 200 gardai would be involved in policing the gigs.
Private coaches ferrying patrons to the event will be directed to one carpark area at the O2 Arena at East Wall with entry from the East Link bridge or through the Port Tunnel.
"They are the only routes we are facilitating for private coaches. That's where the drop of is, that's where the pick up is and that's where the parking is. It's vital that private coaches comply with us in that regard because we have the potential to have total gridlock on a Friday evening particularly if they do not heed that warning," he said.
The briefing to outline the safety and security measures along with the Garda traffic management plan took place in Croke Park this morning.
One Direction, which includes Mullingar native Niall Horan, are due to play three nights at Croke Park beginning on May 23.