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Now gardai braced for three-gig special at the Phoenix Park

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DUBLIN'S Phoenix Park is set to host three massive concerts this summer despite the mayhem that marred a similar event last year.

An unprecedented security plan has already been devised for the gigs which will attract 120,000 people, the Herald can reveal.

RESIDENTS International music acts The Killers and Mumford and Sons are to headline two of the nights while negotiations with Justin Timberlake are at an advanced stage.

The development will come as a shock to residents who were outraged by scenes of public drunkenness and random stabbings at a Swedish House Mafia concert in the park last July.

Two people died and 40 others were hospitalised last year.

There were dozens of arrests for knife offences and drug possession.The three acts for this summer have been handpicked by organisers and gardai have travelled to their concerts in other countries to "profile" fans.

A source said: "Things will be different this time. Gardai from Store Street have already been to concerts by these bands in other countries to carry out surveillance.

"There will be no rave acts and a massive policing plan is ready."

Organisers are satisfied that The Killers, Mumford and Sons and JT are unlikely to attract the same drink and drug-fuelled scenes that dance acts might.

The first gig will take place on July 9 or 11 followed by concerts on July 13 and 14.

Last year's event prompted calls from Dublin 7 residents for a ban on any future gigs in the Phoenix Park.

 

Robust

Fianna Fail councillor Mary Fitzpatrick, who is chairperson of the city's central policing committee, said that it is "imperative" that robust security measures are in place.

"People need to be fully assured that there will not be a repeat of the disgraceful scenes that took place at last summer's disastrous Swedish House mafia concert," she told the Herald.

Intense talks have taken place between gardai and concert promoters MCD in a bid to avoid a repeat of the shocking scenes of violence and crime.

Strict new rules governing the consumption of alcohol will be implemented.

They come after concert promoters MCD were strongly criticised by the Garda Commissioner for the trouble at the SHM gig. Martin Callinan said that the Phoenix Park was not the suitable venue for the gig and that the promoters "did not have appropriate security measures in place".

However MCD blamed gardai for their alleged low-key approach, adding that officers failed to control drunkenness and anti-social behaviour.

hnews@herald.ie


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