Saturday 21 October 2017

Gardai unveil strict security 'blueprint' for Phoenix Park gigs

Killers front man Brandon Flowers
Killers front man Brandon Flowers
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A HOTLINE for residents, drug unit patrols and increased security are all part of a robust 'blueprint' for this year's Phoenix Park concerts.

Local residents want to avoid a repeat of the violence and the anti-social scenes following last year's Swedish House Mafia gig.

A detailed security plan has been unveiled ahead of the three concerts from promoters MCD – which kick off with Justin Timberlake next Wednesday, July 10; followed by The Killers on Saturday, July 13; and Mumford and Sons headlining the following day.

Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick, chair of the Dublin City Council central joint policing committee, said residents hope this year's concerts will "pass off in a more enjoyable fashion" for those living and using the Phoenix Park.

A residents' hotline – (01) 6790021 – will be in operation from 9am until midnight on the day of each concert.

Litter-patrol teams will be present, while stewards will be in place to aid gardai in directing concert-goers from the site on to buses as the concerts end.

More portable toilets will be placed at the gates into the park to help halt public urinating, while CCTV and temporary lighting will be erected along the routes.

Alcohol will be seized at the entrances to the park and no spirits will be sold on site.

Garda Superintendent John Quirke told a residents meeting that there will be 20 officers from the Garda Drug Unit on duty, backed by mobile patrols and private security personnel.

No figure was given for the total number of gardai who will be on duty for the concerts.

Last year there were 145 gardai on duty and hundreds of security personnel.

Ms Fitzpatrick, a councillor in the Cabra and Glasnevin areas, said residents were operating a "wait and see" attitude to the new security plan after they were "badly burnt" last year.

Councillor Ruairi McGinley said residents "had a very bad experience last year, particularly in Chapelizod. It caused a lot of upset".

Last year's Swedish House Mafia concert was marred by anti-social behaviour and two people later died as a result of suspected drug overdoses.

Irish Independent

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