Marlay locals worry over three days of gigs

SECURITY: Neighbours relieved by ban on camping

Claire Murphy

residents living around Marlay Park say they will accept a three-day festival this summer – provided it is policed correctly.

Promoters MCD have announced details of the Longitude festival, to be held in July.

It is the first time a festival running over three days has been held in the south Dublin suburb.

However, after the Swedish House Mafia debacle in the Phoenix Park, some locals are concerned about the kind of crowd that will be attracted to the event.

One person died and nine were injured during the out-of-control concert in the park last summer. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 tickets will be on sale for each of the three nights of the boutique festival in south Dublin.

While gardai and security personnel have insisted nothing of that magnitude will be allowed to happen again, there are mixed responses from locals – some of whom say that it could just be too big for the area to contain.

Breda Cahill, Centra store manager, Grange Road, said that there needs to be open discussions with businesses and residents from the beginning.

"In the main, there is not a problem with the concerts, but there should be more involvement with the community."

Ms Cahill said the Rathfarnham park on 300 acres is not an ideal site for a major music festival.

"The biggest problem is that they need to decide what type of venue is suitable for the acts," she said. "With Tom Jones locals could get out and about, everyone was enjoying themselves.

"But the rave things that attracts drugs – there can't be a blanket permission for the concerts. It should depend on the type of music."

Alison Daly (32), of Ballycullen, with her children Ana (3) and Fionn (9 months) welcomes activities and concerts in the park.

"It always seems to be well- controlled. I never hear of issues with security," she said.


Bernadette Mooney, a psychotherapist from Barton Road East said the concerts rarely impinge on residents in the locality. She was also relieved to hear that camping will not be permitted.

Jane O'Halloran, from Marley Grange, said that good policing is vital in an area that is surrounded by residential housing estates.

"I went to Tom Jones and they were extremely security conscious," she said.

But retired engineer Seamus Keogh who lives in Milltown said that concerts in the park are generally not a good idea.

"Look what happened in the Phoenix Park – it was just a quagmire after they left," he said. "It should never have been held there, let alone here."

Paul Davis, from Brookwood, an estate close to the south Dublin park, said that the promoters will be extra conscious of the security required.

"I'd say with what happened the last time (in the Phoenix Park), it would make sense that they increase security," he said.

Dave Moore (23) from Ballinteer, is a trainee manager at the Centra, on Grange Road – directly opposite the park.

"They monitor it quite well but it always depends on the kind of acts that are playing," he said. "At the Fat Boy Slim concert there were people of all ages drunk and all over the streets."

Councillors have been acting as liaison between residents and the organisers since the concerts at Marlay Park began.

Local residents like the concerts in general and there have been no calls to cancel them.