Ed Sheeran gigs spark concerns

by Gazette Reporter
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Fingal councillors have voiced concerns over the upcoming Ed Sheeran concerts in the Phoenix Park, asking that the location for gigs be varied in the future.

At an area meeting of the local authority, Cllr Sandra Kavanagh (Solidarity) asked why every event had to be “pushed right up to the Fingal border” of the park.

She said Castleknock residents were frustrated and fed up with the “anti-social behaviour” and it was unfair that they were always “left to deal with the aftermath”.

Several councillors recounted instances where residents’ front gardens were used as toilets and some claimed they felt under siege and afraid to leave their homes.

Cllr Eithne Loftus (FG), who lives close to the Castleknock gate of the park, said it was “a disgrace the way it was left after, I think it was, the Arctic Monkeys”.

She added: “Our gardens are regularly used as toilets. The last concert was well policed but the previous one was a nightmare. My new car was nearly turned over.

“As I approached Deer Park [estate] they [concertgoers] were literally trying to get into the car. As I locked it they were rocking the car. You have no idea what went on that night.
“It was the most horrendous experience for local residents.”

Cllr Ted Leddy (FG) said the fact that Dublin City Council was merely obliged to inform the Fingal authority of its plans was “a bit tame” and greater co-operation was needed.

Cllr Howard Mahony (FF) said he had made a number of submissions on the licence application for the concerts and was concerned that some issues were ignored.

“Some of it was put on the long finger,” he said. “Toilets ‘to be arranged’, Garda plan ‘to be looked at nearer to the time’. If we gave permission with a set of conditions like that we’d have a serious situation on our hands.”

He also asked why some public events could not be located nearer to the Papal Cross, where Pope Francis will say mass in August, adding: “I was told that area was to be preserved for flora and fauna. If that is the reason, then fine.

“I suppose it makes sense for the Papal mass to be held in the vicinity of the Papal Cross.”

Council chief executive Paul Reid assured that officials were actively engaging with Dublin City Council regarding public events at the park. He added: “Any notification we get we will let councillors know.”

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