Garda, MCD meeting 'productive'

Tue, Jul 10, 2012, 01:00

Gardaí described a meeting with concert promoters MCD this evening to review security arrangements at Saturday night's Swedish House Mafia concert in the Phoenix Park as 'productive.'

The concert was marred by violence and drunkenness.

In a statement, gardaí said a number of issues surrounding the event were discussed and that it was agreed that both organisations will carry out a more in-depth review of the event.

"An Garda Síochána and MCD condemn all anti-social behaviour and will continue to work together to minimise any re-occurrence," it said.

Gardaí said approximately 135,000 people attended the three concerts in the park on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights. 511 security personnel and 145 gardaí were on duty at Saturday's concert.

"Regrettably a number of incidents occurred resulting in 33 arrests which led to 70 charges being preferred before the courts  - public order, drunkenness and drug related offences. In total over the 3 nights there were 58 arrests and in excess of 100 charges preferred before the courts. It is expected that there will be further charges in early course and an incident room has been established at Cabra Garda Station and all incidents will be fully investigated," the statement added.

"Further meetings will be held in the context of lessons learned and orientation for future concerts of this nature. The Garda Commissioner will be preparing a report for the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence following this review."

MCD chief executive Denis Desmond said yesterday he was “100 per cent” satisfied with the level of security provided at the concert, during which six people were stabbed.

More than 40 people were treated in two Dublin emergency departments after the event. There were widespread reports of fighting, drug-taking and drunkenness both inside and outside the concert grounds.

One man fell ill at the concert and was taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, where he died. He was named yesterday as Lee Scanlon (20), from Sorrel Heath, Clonsilla, Dublin. Another concert-goer who fell ill later in a friend’s house and also died has been named as Shane Brophy (21), of Crettyard, Co Laois. Postmortem results are awaited.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton today said a “detailed examination” of the events on Saturday was necessary to establish whether there was sufficient security at the event, and whether the park is “an appropriate venue for such concerts”.

"I saw the excessive intake of alcohol on Saturday as I was in the Castleknock and Navan Road areas myself,” she said.

“Some very young people appeared to have been drinking heavily. The debris left behind made that very clear. I am also concerned about reports of other substances being abused.”

Ms Burton said the atmosphere at the Stone Roses concert on Thursday and the Snow Patrol and Florence and the Machine concert on Sunday “was entirely different as they attracted a more mature audience”.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he shared the “widespread public concern” over what had happened on Saturday night.

Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes, whose office is in charge of the Phoenix Park, said he had asked for reports from both MCD and the Garda about what happened.

Mr Desmond said MCD provided in excess of 50 per cent more personnel, between security and gardaí, than was laid down in the licensing terms for the series of three concerts.

Dublin City Council stipulated a minimum of 364 security personnel for each concert. Mr Desmond said MCD provided 511 security personnel and 145 gardaí within the arena.