Gardai attempting to identify Oliver Bond party organisers

by Rachel Darcy

Gardai are trying to identify the organisers of a ‘rave’ at the Oliver Bond St flat complex in Dublin’s South Inner City on Saturday night, where over 100 people were believed to be in attendance.

Residents of the Oliver Bond flats claim they called the Gardai several times, with Gardai breaking up the gathering at around 11pm on Saturday. They also patrolled the area following the ending of the gathering.

The illegal rave was held on a communal all weather pitch in the flat complex, with music said to have been so loud, residents couldn’t sleep.

There was no display of social distancing by the crowd, with it understood that none of the attendees were wearing face coverings.

Video footage and images of the party circulated on social media, as well as images of the aftermath of the party on Sunday morning, with laughing gas canisters and other rubbish shown to littered across the all weather pitch.

Gardai are now attempting to identify the organiser of the gathering, and are carrying out an investigation into the event and any breaches of criminal legislation that may have occurred.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “I think the Oliver Bond situation is being investigated by the Gardaí, the manner of its organisation, there might be a range of issues there that the Gardaí have to attend to above and beyond the social distancing and the breach of regulations and guidance in relation to public health, and that is a serious issue.”

The event occurred just one day after Dublin was placed into Level 3 of restrictions, where outdoor gatherings of more than 15 people are not permitted. More than 1,500 cases of the virus had been reported Dublin in recent weeks, leading to the new restrictions on social gatherings.

In a statement, Gardai said: “The Health Act 1947 (Section 31S – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid 19) (No.5) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on September 19 at regulation 15 provide that A person shall not organise, or cause to be organised, a relevant event in a relevant county.

Gardai are not investigating breaches of Public Health Regulations by those in attendance. Social distancing, wearing of masks in public areas and other such guidelines are non-penal regulations.”

An Garda Siochana also recommenced Operation Fanacht in Dublin city and county at midnight last Friday, which is focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures and a higher visibility of Gardai around the capital.

Speaking about Operation Fanacht, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: “As a community we all need to come together to once again protect ourselves and our most vulnerable.

“It is vital that every person plays their part and adheres to the public health regulations and guidelines to reduce the increasing spread of COVID-19.

“An Garda Síochána will do its part in ‘Keeping people Safe’. Operation Fanacht is intended to work with communities to support Government and Public Health Guidelines”.

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