NORTHSIDE politicians are calling for action to be taken to prevent a repeat of the chaos before, during and after the recent Swedish House Mafia gig at the Phoenix Park.
Dublin 15 councillor David McGuinness (FF) is demanding a full explanation from the Office of Public Works and Minister of State Brian Hayes who have responsibility for the Phoenix Park.
Cllr McGuinness said West Dublin communities are distraught by stories of death, assault, violence and drug abuse in the national park.
“The death of a young man from Blanchardstown adds to the litany of horrific stories emanating from the concert,” he said. “Another young Castleknock man was hospitalised following an unprovoked attack.
“I have been heavily critical of Minister Hayes’ hands-off approach to issues relating to the Phoenix Park over recent times, such as delayed roadworks on Chesterfield Avenue and serious lack of public consultation. However, all of those issues are dwarfed by this latest scandal.
“Local communities including Cabra, Navan Road, Castleknock and Blanchardstown were intimidated by drug-fuelled and drink-fuelled revellers who permeated their communities for hours between Saturday and Sunday.
“The concert was ruined for the many thousands of law-abiding citizens who attended the show and were shocked by the revelations of what actually took place on Saturday night.”
Cllr McGuinness accused Fine Gael of “softness on crime”, pointing to reduced opening hours at Cabra and Blanchardstown Garda stations.
“These events reinforce community sentiment that cuts to in Garda numbers and Garda stations are detrimental to our communities and their safety,” he said.
Chair of the Joint Policing Committee for Dublin Central, Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick (FF), said she was “very concerned” over the horrific and upsetting reports from the concert.
“There are very serious issues to be addressed,” she said. “Aside from reported drug overdoses, seven people were assaulted and hospitalised; 30 people were arrested; there were 45 call-outs by the fire service; numerous weapons and other items were seized by the gardai; and there was significant littering, vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the general area. I do not accept there was sufficient security and that the Phoenix Park is an ideal venue. I believe that Dublin City cannot afford to ever have a repeat of such events.”
Cllr Fitzpatrick said she has met with gardai and Dublin City Council officials to discuss issues surrounding concerts in the park and that event promoters MCD and representatives from the OPW have been asked to attend the next meeting of the Dublin Central Joint Policing Committee.
“The intention is to have a detailed review of all aspects of the concerts with a view to identifying what went wrong and what actions can be taken to ensure that there is no reoccurence of the unacceptable scenes witnessed,” Cllr Fitzpatrick said.
Cllr Fitzpatrick has asked the city manager not to issue any further special event licences until a full review has been completed and recommendations are agreed and implemented by the relevant organisations.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson, Dara Calleary, is calling on Minister Alan Shatter to urgently address the rising violence and anti-social behaviour in Dublin.
“Over the last number of weeks we have seen the instances of violent crime rise alarmingly in Dublin,” he said.
“There has been a very worrying trend emerging in Dublin in recent weeks of violent crime being perpetrated on innocent people, in many instances unprovoked and random.
“I am calling on the Minster for Justice to immediately establish a special Dublin Task Force to address the growing nature and frequency of these violent attacks.”