Irish Judge says pop concerts are not ‘teetotaller conventions’

July 2016

Live events sector


An judge has rejected calls for alcohol to banned at a number of high-profile summer concerts in Ireland, saying that local residents must realise that concerts by the Stone Roses and Kodaline would not be a “teetotaller convention”, and that to consider a ban there would have to be specific incidents of alcohol-related criminal damage in the past or evidence of inadequate policing.
Twenty-five residents from  the South Dublin suburb Rathfarnham had objected to the application for the alcohol licence by Events Bars and Catering for three MCD-promoted events in Marlay Park, saying there had been underage drinking, public urination and antisocial behaviour at previous concerts in the 300-acre park. But Judge Michael Coghlan in the Dublin District Court denied their objections, saying: “I was interested to hear if there was a prevalence of public-order breaches, antisocial behaviour or violent incidents and the sergeant [Michael Phelan, who is co-ordinating the policing of the events] suggests that on the Richter scale things it was well down [at previous concerts].”
Five Rathfarnham residents gave evidence, highlighting problems with a Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2012, when nine people were stabbed in a series of seemingly random, unprovoked attacks. One resident also noted that the current shows would atract some 40,000 attendees for each show, agaisnt a local population is less than 15,000.


For the police, Sergeant Phelan said there would be more Gardai (police) on duty than at any previous Marlay Park concerts – 190 for the Stones Roses and Kodaline concerts and 180 for Longitude – and assured residents that “lessons have been learned from any problems previously experienced” at the venue.

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