Gardaí disperse crowd seen ‘partying’ near Dublin City University
Residents claim large gatherings are an ongoing problem in the area
Gardaí arrived to the scene at Albert College Park in Whitehall at about 11.45pm on Thursday and the crowd was moved on by midnight. File photograph: Tom Honan
Gardaí were called to disperse a large crowd of people who were said to be “partying” at Albert College Park in Whitehall in Dublin city on Thursday night.
Local residents say crowds gathering in the evenings are becoming a problem, with similar crowds also gathering on the grounds of Plunket College on the Swords Road.
Groups of people, who were allegedly carrying cans of beer and other alcoholic drinks, were seen gathering in Albert College Park park on Thursday evening.
The crowd started to gather at about 9.30pm, according to a local resident, and music was being played loudly, and singing could also be heard.
Gardaí arrived on the scene at about 11.45pm and the crowd was moved on by midnight.
Albert College Park is close to Dublin City University (DCU), as well as student accommodation.
One local resident claimed there were about 150 people in the park and that gardaí had to call for back-up as the crowd was larger than initially thought.
“When the gardaí returned and dispersed the crowd . . . [the group] ran across the park ... into DCU grounds carrying boxes of beer,” the resident said.
He said they were not wearing face masks.
In a statement, gardaí said officers attended “an incident on the Ballymun Road” in Dublin 9 on Thursday at 11pm.
“A number of persons were gathered in the area. Gardaí engaged with those present and the crowd dispersed. Gardaí are conducting further enquiries into potential breaches of public health regulations. Enquiries are ongoing at this time,” the statement said.
DCU declined to comment.
A source in the university said there is an ongoing issue with people gathering in Albert College Park and DCU is liaising with gardaí and Dublin City Council about it.
Meanwhile, other residents in estates nearby have been experiencing similar problems with large crowds of up to 100 people gathering at the weekend.
According to one resident, the grounds of Plunket College on the Swords Road has become a hotspot for crowds of young people to gather.
Speaking to The Irish Times, they said the problem first started around the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
“We started noticing the big crowds around the Easter break. The crowds gather on Fridays, Saturdays, and the bank holiday for Easter.
“It seems to be organised, there’s been reports of people being dropped off in taxis.”
The crowds gather around 9:30pm and are usually dispersed by gardaí around midnight.
The resident said the people gathering appear to be in secondary school, but it was hard to tell.
“The estate I live in has a boundary wall between Plunkett Wall and our estate, it’s easily climbed over.
“When the gardaí came on those nights, people just climbed over this wall to get away quickly. There was just a stream of people coming, it was like the end of a concert.”
They added that this led to antisocial behaviour, such as public urination and littering. “A lot of the elderly people were upset.”
However, the resident said gardaí, local councillors and Plunket College are doing their best to curb the behaviour and are working with local residents.
They added that crowds had gathered in Albert College Park before last night, and it’s a reoccurring problem in the area.
Gardaí said they responded to reports of a gathering in a park in Whitehall Dublin 9 on April 4, at approximately 9:45pm.
“A number of persons were gathered in the area. Gardaí engaged with those present and the crowd dispersed.”
In a statement, the City of Dublin Education and Training Board said: “School management is working with local residents and gardaí to actively reduce anti-social behaviour which has recently become an issue.
“CDETB has removed concrete steps where people were gathering and is organising to increase fencing around the pitch.”