Saturday 15 December 2018

Gardai plan crackdown on public disorder and underage drinking across Dublin

'Operation Irene' will see Gardaí from the public order unit dispatched to areas which have seen antisocial behaviour in the past

Operation Irene is now in its third year
Operation Irene is now in its third year

Rachel Farrell

As Ireland prepares for spells of sunshine this summer, the garda public order unit will be preparing to tackle antisocial behaviour.

'Operation Irene' will be rolled out again this year to target public drinking and riots on some of Dublin's most popular beaches.

Now its third year, 'Operation Irene' will see Gardaí from the public order unit dispatched to areas which have seen antisocial behaviour in the past.

Howth and Portmarnock beach are just some of the places Gardaí have monitored in previous years, as well as popular areas in Dublin city.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed: "Operation Irene will be in operation again this year (2018) as in previous years. 

"This operation targets public disorder, underage drinking and antisocial behaviour".

The operation began last year on June 1 and ran until the end of August, in conjunction with Dublin City Council. 

Dublin Bay North councillor Brian McDonagh said that bylaws against drinking on beaches "need to be enforced".

"We definitely notice the difference when gardaí are seizing drink from underage people on the beach," he told Independent.ie.

"It makes the beach a friendlier place for families with young children. There's always going to be large groups on the beach and yeah, they're having fun, but there's always a few that need to be controlled.

"There can be concerns when we get a randomly hot day and everyone heads to the beach but in general, having the Garda presence is very helpful."

In 2013, gardaí were called to restore order to a chaotic Portmarnock beach. Thousands of people were out enjoying the sunshine, but video footage showed a group of young people become rowdy after consuming alcohol.

Alcohol was confiscated from those that were underage and no arrests were made.

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