A SENIOR garda chief has vowed a crackdown on any unruly behaviour at Portmarnock Beach this weekend following Thursday's scenes.
Superintendent Ronan Galligan has devised a detailed policing plan which will involve a team of officers confiscating alcohol and dealing with any anti-social behaviour over the bank holiday.
Public representatives have voiced concern after a riot broke out involving dozens of revellers on Thursday evening.
Video footage shows people hurling objects at each other and engaging in other violent and anti-social behaviour.
Gardai are now braced for further unruly behaviour this weekend and have a special plan to deal with any further outbreaks of violence.
Supt Galligan, of Coolock Garda Station, told the Herald that his officers would ensure that the weekend is one "for families".
"Our officers took control of the situation on Thursday after the incidents occurred.
"We responded quickly and the feedback we have got locally reflects that.
"A huge amount of alcohol was seized on Thursday and we believe that a large number of people arranged via Facebook to visit the beach and engage in drinking," he said.
"A special plan will be in place for this weekend.
"A team of officers will be visible on the beach, especially during the busy periods.
"While there will be nothing heavy-handed, we will be ready to escalate the policing plan up a stage if necessary.
"This is going to be a weekend for families and we will police accordingly."
Meanwhile, videos showing the scale of the violence on Thursday night have gone viral on the internet.
The videos have been viewed more than 50,000 times on YouTube and show a large group of people on the beach flinging objects at each other.
Another video shows discarded children's buggies, blankets and bags while objects continue to be thrown around the beach.
Local Fianna Fail councillor Tom Brabazon described the scenes as alarming and said it was imperative that they were not repeated.
"There are sure to be hundreds of families, including those with young children, visiting the beach this bank holiday weekend.
"The scenes of Thursday night will hopefully not be repeated.
"I think the gardai realise that there needs to be a strengthening of security, and I am very glad to see them respond proactively," Mr Brabazon said.
Anton Savage, Page 14