Severe car restrictions in Dublin on Sunday


DUBLIN CITY centre is effectively off limits to private cars this Sunday as gardaí shut down roads for events set to see more than 230,000 people descend on the city.

The June bank holiday weekend is usually a time when the city sees an exodus of people to other parts of the country. However, this year three high-profile events are set to cause major disruption to traffic flow.

The Bloom gardening festival takes place all weekend in the Phoenix Park, the Leinster GAA quarter-final double header is at Croke Park on Sunday, while Bavaria Racing Dublin will showcase sports cars, including a number of Formula One models, at a two-day event on the streets of the city centre.

Sunday is expected to be the busiest day of the weekend; people travelling to the capital are being warned that if they drive into the city, they will face major delays.

Gardaí are advising people to use public transport in all cases while much of the city will be closed to traffic.

Garda Supt Seán Ward of Store Street Garda station said people heading to the city needed to plan carefully ahead and ensure they allowed additional time for their trip.

“For people travelling to the north from the south, we would be suggesting that they use the M50 orbital route and access Croke Park, for instance, from the N1, N2 and N3,” he said. “There could be some delays on the East Link.

“Traffic restrictions will come in for the Bavaria racing event from 7pm on Saturday evening, and will build up then throughout the night and will be enforced from 6am in the morning.”

Supporters from Longford, Wexford and Louth will have to plan alternative routes to Croke Park for the GAA double-header or risk hitting major traffic disruptions.

It is estimated 40,000 supporters will descend on Croke Park on Sunday. They are being asked not to drive into the city centre as they will not be able to find parking or get past Garda diversions.

The chief executive of the Road Safety Authority, Noel Brett, said people needed to remain vigilant during the weekend and “arrive alive” at their destination.

“Road users need to redouble their efforts to stay safe on the roads,” Mr Brett added. “If you are travelling to an event or travelling to another part of the country plan your journey, allow lots of time, drive at an appropriate speed and make sure to belt up.”

Gardaí and stewards will be challenging anyone they feel is leaving their car in the Phoenix Park for the day and then moving on to another event in the city centre.

A free shuttle bus from Heuston Station will be available for the duration of the Bloom festival to and from the event.

The Bavaria Dublin city racing track starts at the Convention Centre, continues along Custom House Quay before crossing Butt Bridge. It will go down D’Olier Street, then past College Green and the Central Bank on Dame Street, before reaching the chequered flag on O’Connell Bridge.

In the five-year period from 2006 to 2011, 29 people were killed and 63 injured on Irish roads during the June bank holiday period.

Scenic route: How to get to Croke Park this sunday

Longford: People travelling from Longford to Croke Park on Sunday for the Leinster football quarter finals are being advised to take the N4 towards Dublin before turning on to the M50. Supporters should then exit the motorway at junction five or six on to either the N2 or N3. The route should not be congested, however, gardaí urge people to leave additional time for their trip as there may be minor traffic-flow problems near Phoenix Park.

Louth: Supporters from Louth should be unaffected by the events as northern routes to the stadium will not be closed. They should simply follow the M1 all the way before taking the N1 to the stadium.

Wexford: Those coming from Wexford are asked to take the M50 around the city or take the East Link toll bridge. However, there may be some disruption on the East Link. Supporters therefore should not exit the motorway at Shankill as usual; they should drive to the end of the M50 and exit right on to the N1 before driving on to Croke Park.

This means that those used to the direct route to Croke Park from Wexford need to leave about 30 minutes’ extra travel time.

Dublin: People from the capital are asked to ensure that they do not attempt to drive to Croke Park on Sunday and to instead use public transport, which will not be affected by diversions. Gardaí are asking people to use the Luas or to cycle and walk over the weekend, which is set for good weather.