Private security firm called in to control ‘influx’ of Paddy’s Day revellers to Temple Bar
A private security firm is to man the entrances to Temple Bar on St Patrick's Day to limit the number of revellers in the area.
Locals and tourists may find themselves unable to access the lively area under the new crowd control plan.
Once the area becomes too full it will be closed off to members of the public until people leave the cobblestone streets.
A private security firm is due to be hired by Dublin City Council (DCC) to patrol all access points, and work alongside gardai on the day.
It is expected to cost the council between €10,000 and €12,000 to hire a security firm.
The radical new plan is aimed at avoiding the "saturation" of the area, which has caused problems in previous years, according to city council officials.
Assistant chief executive of DCC, Brendan Kenny, said that the plan emerged from concerns about access to the area for emergency vehicles.
"We are worried about ambulances getting through and businesses expressed concerns about the number of people in the area last year," he told the Herald.
Mr Kenny said that the new measures will be assessed and, if found effective, could be used in the city for other large-scale events, such as the annual gay pride parade or high-profile sporting events.
Crowd control will be in place in the area from 10am on March 17 and counters will be used by those manning the entrances to monitor the people arriving.
CCTV will also be used to monitor the area.
The level of congestion on St Patrick's Day makes it difficult for anyone to make their way around the area, Mr Kenny said.
The plan was welcomed by local councillor Mannix Flynn, which he said signalled "nothing but good news" for the city.
"I'm delighted that the managing of events in the city will be done in an appropriate manner with safety concerns addressed," he said.
"It will lead to a safer and more enjoyable day for everyone."
Meanwhile, assistant commissioner Jack Nolan has said that gardai have drawn up "very detailed" plans for the entire city centre, which will be made public soon.
He said he is very satisfied with the plan in place from a garda perspective. Martin Harte - of the Temple Bar Company, which represents businesses in the area - said that the plan was a very welcome and necessary one and that the organisation was "thrilled" with the idea.
"After last year we did seek a solution of some kind, as there was a considerable amount of on-street drinking and anti-social behaviour," he said.