Crowds at Oasis show critical of transport

Mon, Jun 22, 2009, 01:00

SOME CONCERT-GOERS were highly critical yesterday of Dublin Bus over its transport arrangements after the Oasis concert in Slane .

Orla Delaney said the company did not provide enough buses to deal with the crowds.

“Dublin Bus did not provide enough transport for those who purchased a return ticket. There was no Garda presence where the buses were located. There were thousands of people everywhere with no way of getting home. The concert ended between 11 and 11.30pm yet we did not get a seat on an empty bus until 3am,” she said.

Darren Power from Waterford said he left the concert 30 minutes early to catch a bus to Dublin.

“I was on the bus at 11pm and did not reach O’Connell Street until 4.40am. In my time on the bus trying to get out of Slane, I saw hundreds of people frantically trying to get on buses to Dublin after 3am. Some of them were boarding as far as 10 kilometres from Slane,” he said.

Mr Power claimed there was “general chaos” before and after the gig with concert tickets not being checked and nobody being searched. “At no point on the way into the gig was I asked for my ticket. I also did not see anyone being searched. This was the case with many others I spoke to. Also, the entrance walkway through a forest to the gig was narrow and overcrowded.”

Den Loughran from Donnybrook said he had to walk for more than four hours in the dark despite having a bus ticket.

“In the end we had to beg a taxi driver and pay way over the odds to get a lift. On the road we passed thousands of stranded people, many lying in ditches, many crying, many looking scared and lost and with no idea of where to go or how to get home.

“It was a surreal, frightening and horrible experience. Many of the buses were overcrowded and going nowhere with people inevitably fighting on them. There must have been loads of people who never even made it home.”

A spokeswoman for Dublin Bus told The Irish Times the company had “everyone on a bus by 2am”.

“We had 200 buses waiting to take people home at the end of the concert. We cannot park more than 200 buses at the pick-up point according to the traffic management plan.

“When they were full, additional buses were sent from Navan,” she said. “They came 20 minutes after the other buses departed. We had everyone on a bus by 2am.”

A Garda spokesman said they were not aware of any problems to do with organisation or transport at the gig.

A spokesman for concert promoter MCD said last night it would look into any complaints brought to its attention.