'Elephant in room' over gigs trouble
A doctor who was on duty at Blanchardstown hospital’s A&E last weekend said the “elephant in the room” in relation to trouble at the Phoenix Park concerts was the lack of individual responsibility.
Dr Joe McKeever said the vast majority of the 145,000 people that attended the concerts over the three days enjoyed themselves and added it was a bit “hypocritical” to blame the type of music that was performed on Saturday night.
“I think the vast majority of people that went enjoyed themselves, and I do think that it is a little bit hypocritical to talk about the type of music that was [played] on Saturday night. I was a very avid fan of the Clash and the Specials which in my day would have been a high voltage . . . atmosphere,” he told RTÉ radio.
“The only thing was that alcohol wasn’t as freely available from common outlets, and it certainly wasn’t as cheap, so I don’t think we were any better behaved or more moralistic. I just think we didn’t have access.”
Dr McKeever said the reason Blanchardstown hospital saw an increase in admissions over last weekend was due to its proximity to the concert venue.
“The type of case or presentation was almost identical to what we would see on any other given weekend,” he said.
“If you had say Christmas or say St Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March and the same set of people – and that typically does happen – came in, we wouldn’t be calling for the arrest of Santa Claus or St Patrick.”
“Ultimately the blame is the access to these substances and also the fact that there is a degree of individual responsibility.”
The toll from the Swedish Mafia House gig at Phoenix Park last Saturday night included two drug deaths and nine stabbings. Gardaí made 33 arrests leading to 70 charges.