Call for walking group sizes in city centre to be capped

by Dublin Gazette
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There have been calls for a cap on the size of tourist groups on walking tours in the capital.

It is believed that Dublin City Council (DCC) has written to Failte Ireland, encouraging the tourism body to cap the size of groups at 26 people after concerns were raised about larger groups obstructing pedestrian traffic.

Officials from DCC say that larger groups are clogging footpaths around the capital, making it difficult for individuals to get around.

It’s also thought that the council has requested that assembly points for any walking tours be “carried out in a manner which does not affect pedestrian flows”.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind) originally brought a motion on the issue to the council in late 2018, prior to the beginning of the busy tourism season in the capital.

Cllr Flynn said that the amount of people in walking groups is “getting out of hand” and becoming disruptive in the city centre, and that Dublin needs to follow the influence of other major cities.

He added: “Going around with 100 people on a walking tour through the streets of Dublin is just not safe, and it’s wrong.

“In other jurisdictions where this was happening – like in Barcelona, London and Berlin – they curtailed this, they actually brought it down to around 26 or 27 individuals [to a group] because [walking groups] were literally blocking up the city.

“Bernardo Square [beside City Hall] used to be a lovely place to sit and have a sandwich and meet people, [but now] not a lot of people go there, because it’s surrounded by walking tour groups.

“At 9 o’clock in the morning, a group [were] screaming its head off into a camera – that group consisted of about 110 people.”

DCC are believed to have carried out a ‘desktop study’, concluding that utilising bye-laws as a way of regulating the size of the walking tours would not be appropriate, as a number of similar groups and tours take place in different areas across the country.

Under the Constitution, people also have the right to assemble – which could possibly contravene any potential bye-laws.

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