Gardaí pull back on criticism of MCD over stabbings at gig
on 01/09/2012 00:00:00
It said both bodies "undertook an extensive security operation" at the Swedish House Mafia concert on Jul 7 which was marred by significant alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour, including nine knife attacks.
The statement was issued as part of separate reviews by both bodies on the back of that concert along with two others which took place at Phoenix Park that weekend, as well as a series of concerts at Marlay Park last weekend.
Specific measures were in place for the Marlay Park gigs, particularly David Guetta on Aug 24 who, like SHM, plays dance music. The statement said the enhanced security measures for the Guetta gig were successful and well-received by all.
The statement said a total of 67,500 people attended the two dance events and that "99.5% behaved extremely well". It said the "0.5%" who showed no respect for authority were responsible for the anti-social behaviour.
It added: "Despite the considerable efforts of An Garda Síochána and MCD Productions who undertook an extensive security operation at the SMH event at Phoenix Park, this very small percentage of 0.5% of individuals intent on causing trouble did engage in anti-social behaviour on the 7th July."
This statement is at variance to the hard-hitting comments made by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a letter accompanying a report on the SHM gig to the Secretary General of the Department of Justice.
Mr Callinan had said:
* MCD "did not have appropriate security measures in place" for the SHM gig and the crowd attending;
* MCD's Event Control Centre was "not fit for purpose". The commissioner said MCD "failed" to provide additional space to gardaí, despite giving assurances to do so;
* Gardaí had only "limited access" to the CCTV system;
* Security staff were "unclear" on MCD policy regarding age verification of concert goers;
* Security staff were "uncertain" as to their responsibility with regard to the removal of intoxicated people;
* Gardaí were "distinctly disadvantaged" by the absence of a physical marking system on the site.
The report highlighted the city-centre location of Phoenix Park, which its multiple entrances, as a factor for the anti-social behaviour.