Saturday 20 January 2018

Jim Cusack : Perfect storm of sex, drugs and drunken teens in Park

Amid concerns about future events, even gardai admitted it was impossible to say how preventable much of the disorder at last weekend's concert was -- although it came as no surprise to many, writes Jim Cusack

DRUG dealers were operating openly, some standing in the middle of the road, backing up traffic along Conyngham Road from the city entrance to Phoenix Park at teatime before the start of last Saturday's outdoor concert. There was no obvious garda presence even to direct traffic at around 5.30pm.

Hours before the concert got under way, the steps of the new Courts of Criminal Justice at the entrance to the Park were strewn with empty cans, bottles and other rubbish. No one, it appears, at a senior management level was aware that a near perfect storm of mayhem was gathering in and around the Park for the biggest ever outdoor "dance" event in the city. Anyone driving up the Liffey Quays in mid-afternoon -- as this reporter did -- could not have failed to notice hordes of youngsters, including girls who looked little more than 14 or 15, carrying bags that contained alcohol towards the Park.

A resident living close to the Blackhorse Avenue entrance to the Park described similar scenes in the late afternoon on Saturday with large crowds milling around and widespread drunkenness. He also witnessed a young woman performing a sexual act on a man in full view of the public.

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