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Dublin judge rejects concert alcohol ban

Attendees at Longitude Festival and The Stones Roses' and Kodaline's Marlay Park shows will be able to imbibe freely after a residents' appeal fails

By Jon Chapple on 03 Jun 2016

Longitude Festival 2015, Hozier, Marlay Park, Dublin

Longitude Festival 2015: not a teetotaller convention

image © Longitude Festival/MCD Productions

An Irish judge has rejected calls for alcohol to banned at a number of high-profile summer concerts.

Twenty-five residents of south Dublin suburb Rathfarnham objected to a request for an alcohol licence by Events Bars and Catering for three MCD-promoted events in Marlay Park, citing alleged underage drinking, public urination and antisocial behaviour at previous concerts in the 300-acre park.

Michael Coghlan of Dublin District Court denied their objection, telling one resident that he must have known that Longitude Festival and concerts by The Stone Roses and Kodaline would not be a “teetotaller convention”, and that to consider a ban there would have to be specific incidents of alcohol-related criminal damage in the past or evidence of inadequate policing.

Judge Coghlan told the court: “I was interested to hear if there was a prevalence of public-order breaches, antisocial behaviour or violent incidents and the sergeant [Michael Phelan, who is co-ordinating the policing of the events] suggests that on the Richter scale things it was well down [at previous concerts].”

Judge Coghlan of denied their objection, telling one resident that he must have known that the shows would not be a “teetotaller convention”

The objectors provided the court with a list of complaints, and five Rathfarnham residents gave evidence, some fearing a repeat of the trouble that broke out during a Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2012, when nine people were stabbed in a series of seemingly random, unprovoked attacks.

One, Niall O’Reilly, from Broadford, said his main concert is that for each show around 40,000 people will arrive in an area where the local population is less than 15,000.

Sergeant Phelan said there would be more gardai (police) on duty than at any previous Marlay Park concerts – 190 for the Stones Roses and Kodaline concerts and 180 for Longitude – and assured residents that “lessons have been learned from any problems previously experienced” at the venue.

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