'If you’re coming in for a street party, stay at home' - Temple Bar businesses urge St Patrick’s Day revellers
Dublin businesses have appealed to those heading to Temple Bar for St Patrick’s Day to stay safe and avoid drinking in public places.
Half a million people are expected to attend the parade and other festivities around the city centre, with approximately 100,000 people making their way to the city’s party hub in Temple Bar.
Dublin City Council has enlisted a private security firm to man the entrances to Temple Bar in a new crowd control measure aimed at limiting the number of revellers in the area.
They will erect barriers around Temple Bar and patrol all access points, working alongside gardai throughout the day.
Martin Harte, CEO of the Temple Bar Company which represents the interests of businesses in the area, welcomed the new plan.
“The last few years were just mad. The numbers in the last two years in particular have been very, very high, and we were concerned about those numbers coming into the city centre again.
“Temple Bar isn’t that big, you have narrow medieval streets and very small public spaces, and when you get a huge number of people, it has a very negative impact.
“You can’t get through the area, it makes it unsafe. We believe this plan will go a huge way in addressing that.”
He said that although they have been lucky to avoid any major incidents, the huge numbers in the area created a dangerous environment.
“If something were to go wrong or if somebody were to have a heart attack, getting medical assistance or any sort of emergency access in would become almost impossible.”
He noted that the other issue that has plagued St Patrick’s Day celebrations over the last few years is the prevalence of on-street drinking.
“Part of this new plan is to prevent people from bringing alcohol. If people are bringing alcohol in, they’re not going to get in. If they drink it on the street, it’s going to be confiscated.
“Those are the type of things that can be nasty and create a poor image, so hopefully this new initiative will eliminate that to a large degree.”
Mr Harte was also quick to highlight how the St Patrick’s Day festivities benefit local businesses.
“I don't think people quite understand the value of St Patrick’s Day to the city. It’s literally enormous, especially for restaurants and bars, it’s a huge day.
“It’s good that the city is so busy, but you need to manage that. A lot of it is just down to controlling numbers and ensuring that people aren’t drinking in public places, because that creates a sense of unease.”
Many families will be heading into the city tomorrow to watch the parade and enjoy the various activities at the festival, and Mr Harte urged people to be prepared for difficult crowds.
“Others will be trying to make a day of it, so to those people I would say to stay safe and be aware that if you are drinking on the street, you are liable to be prosecuted.
“If you’re coming in to have a party in the street, my advice is to stay at home, because it won’t be tolerated in the city centre tomorrow.”