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crowd control Businesses meet with gardaí and council over city centre crowds

'By and large people were well behaved in the city and they turned up in larger numbers than expected'

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Gardaí move people on from South William Street, Dublin, on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gardaí move people on from South William Street, Dublin, on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gardaí move people on from South William Street, Dublin, on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Over 50 businesses have met with gardaí and the Dublin council after large crowds gathered in the city centre over the weekend.

Concerns were raised about the lack of public toilets and bins as significant amounts of rubbish were left behind by people socialising.

The CEO of Dublin Town described the meeting as positive and that both gardaí and the local authority were keen to engage with businesses.

Richard Guiney said points raised included waste management and publicly available toilets to ensure that public parks aren’t being used as toilets.

He told the Sunday World the message was that this is an outdoor summer, and that there needs to be a better communication.

“By and large people were well behaved in the city and they turned up in larger numbers than expected,” he said.

Mr Guiney also said that the current licensing laws should be temporarily changed to allow for pubs who sell takeaway pints to ensure their patrons are socialising responsibly.

He said this would allow the situation to be dealt with constructively and in an organised way.

The Dublin Town CEO described the contributions in today’s meeting as positive, and that gardaí and the council said they would take on board the concerns.

The Zoom meeting had only been organised yesterday evening after large crowds were socialising in the city centre.

In a statement over the weekend Dublin City Council said that the gatherings were contrary to public health restrictions.

Earlier today the council’s Director of City Recovery, Cóilín O’Reilly, said that adding more bins may increase the number of people who come into the city centre.

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“We feel that if we provide toilets and bins at these locations, it’ll only drive more footfall and create more of an issue from a public health perspective,” he told RTE’s Today with Claire Byrne

“If we supply more toilets and bins, does that bring more people in? Do we end up with bigger public health issues? It’s a very difficult situation to manage.

“We obviously don’t want to shut the city street, I think that will have a detrimental effect for businesses on the street as well as citizens,” he added.

Four people were arrested on South William Street on Saturday for public order offences while the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said he was “absolutely shocked” by the scenes.

Garda operations were put in place over the weekend to deal with the large crowds, and dispersing people gathering in parts of the city.

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