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Sunday 23 July 2017

Christmas lights concert cut short due to huge crowd

A large crowd watches the ceremony to switch on the Christmas lights on Grafton Street, Dublin. Picture by Fergal Phillips
A large crowd watches the ceremony to switch on the Christmas lights on Grafton Street, Dublin. Picture by Fergal Phillips

Grainne Loughran

The headline act due to perform at Grafton Street's 'Christmas Lights ceremony' was cancelled due to safety concerns, as 15,000 people turned up for the event.

Barry Murphy, lead singer of folk group Hermitage Green, said he was "very disappointed" the gig was cut short.

Members of the public during the Christmas lighting ceremony on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the public during the Christmas lighting ceremony on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

"But we completely understood the situation," he said. "I think the organisers were a bit overwhelmed by how many people turned up."

The cast of the Gaiety Panto were also upset that their segment was cut from the show.

As a result of the cancelled performances, the event ended half an hour earlier than planned.

People took to social media to express their anger at the "badly organised event" which some described as "horrific".

Lauren Walsh (10) with her mother Karla Walsh both from Greystones at the switch-on. Photos: Collins
Lauren Walsh (10) with her mother Karla Walsh both from Greystones at the switch-on. Photos: Collins

In a statement, DublinTown explained that "due to numbers and in the interest of safety and comfort, organisers decided to shorten the usual programme format".

CEO of DublinTown Richard Guiney said the large turn-out proved that Irish people "do Christmas better than anywhere else in the world".

In Cork, Olympic heroes Gary and Paul O'Donovan turned on the Christmas lights.

Jessica Murphy, Chiara Casarin and Chiara Bruscagin from Carrigaline, Co Cork, at the switching-on of the Christmas lights. Pic Darragh Kane
Jessica Murphy, Chiara Casarin and Chiara Bruscagin from Carrigaline, Co Cork, at the switching-on of the Christmas lights. Pic Darragh Kane
Olympic Rowing Heroes Paul and Gary O’Donovan switch on the Christmas Lights in Cork and mark the start of the festive season in the city. Pic Darragh Kane
Olympic Rowing Heroes Paul and Gary O’Donovan switch on the Christmas Lights in Cork and mark the start of the festive season in the city. Pic Darragh Kane

Irish Independent

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