More than 850 gardaí on Dublin’s streets for St Patrick’s Day parade
Anti-terror measures in place as more than half a million people expected to enjoy festivities
Caolan McKenna, of Tyrone, enjoying the 2018 St Patrick’s Festival parade in Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Anti-terrorism measures will be implemented in Dublin on Sunday aimed at protecting the safety of the more than half a million people expected to take to the streets for the St Patrick’s Day festivities.
For the second year running, additional security measures will be in place during the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade, with more than 850 gardaí patrolling the streets.
Chief Supt Sean Ward, from Store Street Garda station, confirmed the same “robust” safety procedures used during the 2018 parade would be employed this Sunday to ensure the safety of the general public.
“We have risk assessed the event and we’ve put measures in place across the whole spectrum of the parade from early in the morning until 3/4am the following morning to ensure we have sufficient members on duty,” Supt Ward told a media briefing for the festival. “I’m satisfied we have mitigating factors in place.”
Road closures for the parade start at 4.30am and traffic restrictions will come into effect from about 9am. The Luas Red Line will terminate at Smithfield at 10.45am on the morning of the parade and the Green Line will terminate at Dominick Street, north of the city, and at St Stephen’s Green on the south side until the parade has finished.
People are encouraged to use public transport to travel in and out of the city.
Bright yellow child ID wrist bands will be available from Garda stations across the city centre for parents worried about losing their little ones in the crowd during the proceedings. The bands, which will be marked with parents’ contact numbers, will be available from stations at Store Street, Mountjoy, Bridewell, Pearse Street and Kevin Street.
Anyone with mobility issues or disabilities who plans to attend the parade should contact the festival box office or consult the website for further information, said Susan Kirby, festival chief executive. She added that tourism support would be fully operational throughout the weekend, able to provide support to any tourists that may experience crime.
Speaking at the briefing, Chief Garda Supt Lorraine Wheatley, based at Kevin Street, underlined that members of the public would not be allowed to drink alcohol in public, and that all alcoholic beverages would be confiscated by security. She said additional crowd control measures would be in place in Temple Bar, where large numbers of people are expected to gather following the parade.
The St Patrick’s Day festivities begin on Thursday and will run over five days with 3,000 artists, musicians, singers, writers, creators, staff and volunteers coming together for more than 50 events across the city, including the new festival village in Merrion Square.
The programme includes numerous musical and artistic events, including a major exhibition opening on Friday at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place, Dublin of the work of acclaimed photographer Eamonn Doyle (pictured).
Sunday’s parade will kick off at 12pm from Blackchurch at Parnell and make its way through the city to Kevin Street.
For the full programme see: https://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/