Friday 19 July 2019

Gardaí assure Longitude safety after US Embassy issues 'security alert'

Stormzy is performing at MCD’s Longitude festival in Marlay Park this weekend. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Stormzy is performing at MCD’s Longitude festival in Marlay Park this weekend. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Niamh Lynch

Gardaí have assured festival-goers it is safe to attend Longitude, despite a security alert issued by the US Embassy in Dublin this evening.

The security alert noted a "a potential for violence" at the Longitude Festival, which starts today in Marlay Park.

The statement read: "Local police are aware of the threat and will conduct comprehensive bag and person searches. The police have increased event security and are monitoring the situation."

However, the alert appears to have been issued without the knowledge of the gardaí or festival organisers, MCD.

A statement issued to Independent.ie by the gardaí assured revellers it is safe to attend the festival.

"The festival is being policed appropriately following normal security risk assessment. A full and comprehensive policing plan is available on the Garda website www.garda.ie and on all Garda Social Media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"No incidents have been reported to date.

"An Garda Síochána does not comment on statements made by third parties," it added.

Instructions issued by the US Embassy include "avoid Marlay Park and the areas surrounding the park", "keep a low profile" and "notify friends and family of your safety".

A spokesperson for the US Embassy told Independent.ie: "It is not uncommon for us to issue Security Alerts to US citizens when there are big events taking place."

Local Social Democrats councillor Carly Bailey said: "The gardaí will do what they can to make it safe - I’d trust them on that.

"People really enjoy Longitude, there are lots of people going to have fun, to have a good time. In previous years, as far as I know, there was never really any trouble at it - it has a good track record."

The festival, which will run until Sunday, has faced a series of act cancellations.

ASAP Rocky was replaced as tonight’s headline act by American rapper and songwriter Ski Mask The Slump God after he was detained by Swedish authorities.

The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested along with two other men after an alleged fight in Stockholm on Sunday.

Videos emerged on website TMZ appearing to show the star throwing a punch at another man.

Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper pulled out as Saturday’s headliner last month, only to be replaced by British grime artist Stormzy. American rapper Cardi B will headline the Sunday night of the festival, now in its sixth year.

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