Monday 19 March 2018

Anguish and joy for families in aftermath of Swedish House Mafia Dublin gig

Aoife Finan (19), from Cobh, Co Cork, who turned up safe and well last night after going missing at the concert in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, on Saturday
Lee Scanlon (20), from Clonsilla, Dublin
Shane Brophy
Sinead Finan got the 'best phone call ever' when her daughter Aoife (in picture) rang her last night
A man being taken away during the concert on Saturday


TWO families were today crushed by grief following the deaths of their sons – while the parents of a missing girl were overcome with joy as she arrived home.

The fallout of the chaotic concert at the Phoenix Park, in which nine people were stabbed, sparked demands for answers from gardai and concert promoters MCD.

But the families of Lee Scanlon (20) and Shane Brophy (21) were numb with grief, as they prepared to bury the two young men.

Both collapsed and died in the hours after the Swedish House Mafia concert, which attracted 45,000 to the Dublin park.

The causes of the two deaths are still being investigated, with toxicology tests to show if drugs were involved.

Mr Brophy’s mother was “crushed” as “the baby of the family is gone”. Mr Scanlon’s family said they had “no answers” about why he died.

Meanwhile, the parents of 19-year-old Aoife Finan sobbed with relief last night as the teenager was found, almost 48 hours after going missing.

Fears for her safety had mounted after she vanished while attending the concert on Saturday night.

But the tearful teenager rang her mother, Sinead, at 6.15pm last night and told her she was on her way home to Cork.

"I couldn't believe it -- it was the phone call that I had been hoping and praying for all day," Mrs Finan told the Irish Independent.

"It was the best phone call I have ever got."

Her fears were heightened after it emerged the concert had been marred with drunkenness, drugs and violence.


Earlier, a 22-year-old man was brought before Dublin District Court in connection with stabbings at the concert.

MCD Productions will be quizzed by the Garda Commissioner, who will report back to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

MCD has said it took every possible precaution to ensure the safety and security of the crowd.

It insisted that security and garda personnel levels were well in excess of the required numbers for a licensed event.

But as pressure mounted on the promoter, a major garda search operation swung into operation for Aoife, who was still missing.

Uniformed officers were last night scheduled to begin searching the 1,700 acre Phoenix Park for clues -- until her mother got the dramatic phone call.

"She told me she was fine and was on a bus back from Dublin to Cork. She was a bit weepy and emotional but we're all so relieved that she is okay," she said.

Mrs Finan later collected her daughter from the bus and, after a tearful reunion, the pair travelled back to their Cobh home.

"I'm so relieved. I was a nervous wreck because of all the worries and fears that kept going through my head over the day.

"You never think something like this is going to happen to you," she said.

"I was at my wits' end because I suppose it is human nature to fear the worst. This was totally out of character for her."

Mrs Finan said she did not yet know how Aoife had spent the last 48 hours -- but wasn't going to press her daughter for details until she was back home and fully recovered.

Aoife's father, Eric, said they were absolutely "over the moon" that the teenager had been located safe and well.

"We are very grateful to everyone that helped with the initial appeal for information on Aoife. We want to thank everyone who helped.

"It is the news that we had prayed for," he said.

Aoife is a student at Cork College of Commerce who lives in Cobh, and had gotten separated from her friends at the concert last Saturday night.

She also apparently lost her handbag -- including all her money and her mobile phone.

One festival-goer who later met her described her as "lost and very upset" because she couldn't locate her companions.

She never showed up for the bus from the Phoenix Park gig back to Cobh.

Her parents Sinead and Eric, had been desperately trying to contact her since the alarm was raised on Sunday.

Aoife has studied journalism but is now studying at Cork College of Commerce.

She has a younger sister, Saoirse, and works part-time in a Cobh shop.

Irish Independent

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