Garda plan sought after beach brawls

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THREE men have been charged with minor public order offences at Blanchardstown District Court following disturbances caused by crowds of young revellers at Portmarnock Strand last Thursday evening, May 30.

According to the Gardai, the three men, aged 19, 20 and 21, were arrested at the beach following the disturbances that broke out amongst a large number of youths. There were no serious injuries reported.

Numerous pieces of amateur video footage of the incident have since appeared on YouTube and other social networking sites. The videos showed the youths shouting verbal abuse and throwing bottles and other objects at each other. One such video has now generated over 230,000 views.

There were some 1,500 people at the beach at the time. While most were there to enjoy the sunshine, many teenagers were there to celebrate the end of the school year.

Speaking about the incident, local TD Terence Flanagan (FG) said he is “absolutely appalled at the violent, riot-like scenes that erupted”.

“Understandably, local residents in the Portmarnock area are upset that this is happening in their community whenever there is sunny weather. It is a pity that these groups cannot enjoy a day at the beach without drinking and causing disruption,” he said.

“I have made contact with Coolock Garda Station about the matter to highlight the concerns of residents in the Portmarnock area and to ask for details of their plan of action for the rest of the summer.”

Local councillor Cian O’Callaghan (Lab) said: “I think it’s very, very serious. The beach there is a wonderful resource for local residents and families and tourists and visitors to the area, and it really belongs to everyone and everyone should feel comfortable and safe using it all the time. It’s completely unacceptable that anything would happen that takes away from that amenity for everybody.”

“There has been some difficulties on the beach there, but there hasn’t been anything on this scale before… The first time that you get very nice weather is when difficulties can arise. When you get extra numbers, you get extra rubbish, and then you do get some people who are drinking [alcohol], and then if people if left drinking on beaches all day, that’s when problems can arise, but not in this scale. Essentially there’s very well deployed Garda resources to make sure that everybody feels that they can use this beach.”

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