Monday 23 April 2018

More gigs in Phoenix Park likely despite deaths, disorder

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described the events at Phoenix Park as 'simply scandalous'
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described the events at Phoenix Park as 'simply scandalous'
Lee Scanlon (20), from Clonsilla, Dublin
Shane Brophy

Tom Brady and Mark Hilliard

THE Phoenix Park will not be out of bounds for concerts despite the drug deaths and stabbings at last weekend's dance and rap music event.

Amid continued fallout over street drinking, fighting and open drug-taking, Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the scenes as "absolutely disgraceful, appalling".

But concert promoters MCD last night again rejected claims that security was insufficient at the Swedish House Mafia concert in the Phoenix Park in Dublin on Saturday.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey, who is in charge of policing in the capital, held talks yesterday with representatives of the promoters.

MCD rejected claims that security was insufficient and said there were 511 security guards and more than 145 gardai on duty, more than was required under the licensing arrangements.

Gardai said the meeting had been productive and that it was agreed a more in-depth review would be carried out.

Minimise

They said both sides condemned all anti-social behaviour and would continue to try to minimise any re-occurence.

A briefing on yesterday's discussions with MCD will now be prepared by Mr Twomey for Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. He will then draft a full report for Justice Minister Alan Shatter, and is expected to set out the details of the garda inquiries to the Dail.

Brian Hayes, the junior minister responsible for the Office of Public Works, said that while what had taken place on Saturday was unacceptable, he would not preclude the opportunity for other concerts in the Phoenix Park.

But Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, who witnessed some of the scenes, appeared at odds with Mr Hayes.

She said the nature of Saturday's event was clearly unsuitable to the park, whereas the other events there over the weekend were not problematic. She is seeking a thorough investigation by the authorities.

Nine people were stabbed at the Swedish House Mafia concert and eight of them required hospital treatment for their injuries.

Meanwhile, MCD will not face any sanctions following the fiasco as it did not break the terms of its licence with Dublin City Council.

A copy of the agreement, which was initially to cover seven concerts at the park, showed the promoters upheld their legal responsibilities.

The promoters complied with the requirements of gardai, ambulance staff and environmental health and also lodged a €50,000 bond with the OPW to meet the costs of clean up and repairs.

Meanwhile, gardai are awaiting the results of toxicology tests on the bodies of two young men, who died after attending Saturday's concert.

The toxicology results will determine whether either of them had taken drugs or alcohol and if this had been a factor in their deaths.

The tests are also expected to show if there is any link between the deaths, although the men were not known to each other.

Lee Scanlon (20), from Sorrel Heath, Clonsilla, west Dublin, died after looking for help at the medical tent at the concert.

He complained of chest pains and was given CPR treatment to revive him. He was pronounced dead shortly after he was admitted to James Connolly memorial hospital on Saturday evening.

The second concert-goer who died was Shane Brophy, from Swan, Co Laois. He left the concert and then went to a party at a friend's house in west Dublin where he became ill and died.

Gardai said about 135,000 people had attended the three concerts on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Over the three nights there were 58 arrests and more than 100 charges being brought before the courts, including public order, drunkenness and drug-related offences.

Irish Independent

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