Marlay Park gigs hit new bum notes with residents

by Emma Nolan

A NUMBER of residents who live in the vicinity of Marlay Park have described the “chaotic” scenes caused by the crowds of people who attended Longitude festival at the weekend.
A local Marlay Wood resident, Aifric O’Malley, told The Gazette that she has to deal with “drunken youths using [her] front garden as a toilet” while the concerts are on.
She said: “Overall, I like the concerts – there are positives – but there is a complete lack of consideration for the residents.
“To be honest, there is very little trouble, but there are issues, especially the road closures which limit residents’ access in and out of their homes.
“We’re pretty much trapped in our houses while the concerts are on, and it can be a nightmare if you’re trying to get home from work during this time. It can also prevent you from going out in the first place.”
Aifric said that having concerts on three days in a row with Longitude is a “real disturbance”.
She said: “People can break away from the crowd, and because my estate is right beside the park, they sometimes come in to drink or to go to the toilet [in the street] – which obviously is unpleasant because of their complete lack of consideration.”
As her house is on the end of a terrace, Aifric said many concert-goers go around the side of her house and into her garden to urinate.
She said: “It’s sort of hidden, so people go in there, but it’s our property, our side gate. It can be scary to confront them because you don’t know who’s going to be there.
“On Saturday, there were two guys in my garden urinating, and one of them was really aggressive towards me. There have been times when I’ve been in fear of going outside because of the drunken gangs of people in my front garden.”
Aifric’s brother, who has Down Syndrome, also feels “unsettled” by the presence of people in the estate when the concerts are on.
Another Marlay Wood resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I was leaving my estate to go to work on Friday evening and I asked the gardai and the stewards at the front of the estate what time the roads would be reopened, and they told me 11:20 or 11:30pm.”
However, when the resident was driving back after midnight, she said she wasn’t allowed to get back in and had to “wait across the road for an hour, where there was loads of really young people who were really drunk”.
She added: “The gardai I spoke to were rude about the whole thing, and they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about – they said the roads would be back open by half 11, and they weren’t.
“There was no timetable or anything for residents, so nobody knows when they’re going to be able to get in or out of their estate.”
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it received 18 complaints about the festival. Four related to noise, three to drinking and three to anti-social behaviour, while one related to the “awful line-up”.
The council said it would permit concerts in the park again as there had been “no breaches of licence conditions”. Gardai said there were “no significant incidents”.

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