Monday 11 December 2017

Just another day in the life . . . fans go wild on Abbey Street

'Battle' scenes for the Beatles
'Battle' scenes for the Beatles
'Battle' scenes for the Beatles

Shortly after half past eight, 2,304 excited, red-faced Beatles' fans burst from the Adelphi as the first concert cleared on to the street. They were confronted by another 2,304 bodies waiting to enter for the second performance. Adding to the panic and chaos were an estimated 2,000 ticketless fans standing outside, observing the action.

Responding to the unfolding chaos, gardai pushed the crowd down Middle Abbey Street with the intention of sealing it off. A battle between police and fans ensued. A car was tossed into the street with its windows smashed. Another car was set on fire. Three gardai were shoved to the ground. Others had their hats knocked off.

Twelve people were arrested and taken to various garda stations. Fifty teenagers needed treatment. At least three were taken to hospital with fractured arms or legs. More suffered panic or claustrophobia as they were trapped in the mass of bodies. One ambulance driver was reported as saying, "We are running a shuttle service to Jervis Street – this is shocking. They're gone mad."

At half past eleven, the rioting ceased. What just hours before had been a scene of mayhem was now a litter-strewn wasteland. But the rioters were gone – off on the last buses from Nelson's Pillar to their homes scattered around Dublin. Thanks to CIE, the madness and mania had come to a close!

Irish Independent

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