| 1.1°C Dublin

Mingle all the way Crowds flout Covid rules on Grafton Street ahead of move to Level 3

"Molly Malone must have been weeping as hordes of young men turned her wheelbarrow into a sewer, using the cove behind her as a public toilet"

Close

The streets were busy with people looking for social relief and conversation

The streets were busy with people looking for social relief and conversation

The streets were busy with people looking for social relief and conversation

Christmas came early for hundreds of city centre revellers who chose to ignore Government guidelines on social distancing and have a Covid street party.

At 6pm on Friday night, just as Taoiseach Micheál Martin was announcing the easing of Level Five restrictions, a queue of 60 or so women snaked down Grafton Street, waiting to gain entry to one of two public toilets.

Maybe it was the chill in the air but there was no social distancing on display as the women stood shoulder to shoulder waiting to answer nature's call.

Masks were few and far between as many of the punters were chatting and laughing and sipping beer from plastics beer cups, bought from one of several take-away options a stone's throw away.

The men's queue for the toilet was only four deep, which was not an indication of good behaviour as almost every laneway off Grafton Street had been turned into an open urinal.

Close

No distancing as women queue for public toilets near Stephen’s Green

No distancing as women queue for public toilets near Stephen’s Green

No distancing as women queue for public toilets near Stephen’s Green

And we observed a river of foul-smelling urine running down the lane at the back of the College of Surgeons, before the Toy Show had even kicked off. Despite the twinkling Christmas lights and frosty evening this was more Strumpet City than 2020.

Halfway down Grafton Street, a horse and cart owner was trying to drum up some business having dressed up as Santa Claus, with Olaf the snowman his co-pilot.

The novelty attraction had created an unfortunate bottleneck however, as passersby posed for pictures and petted the horse, making it almost impossible to keep even a metre apart.

Normally at this time of year the front awning of the Gaiety Theatre would be a haze of flashing lights and smiles with hundreds of families getting ready for the evening performance of the annual panto.

This year, however, a different congregation of partygoers were hidden below plumes of cigarette smoke, as they drank pints and cans - with one couple enjoying a bottle of red in their own wine glasses.

There was no outrage on display as couples and groups chatted and laughed, to all intents and purposes living in a world without Covid.

Close

Punters sipped beers bought from nearby pubs

Punters sipped beers bought from nearby pubs

Punters sipped beers bought from nearby pubs

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Nothing illustrated this more than the scenes on South William Street.

Over a month ago the internet went into meltdown when a video emerged of people enjoying a party on the street the night before lockdown was introduced. Six weeks later and no lessons have been learned as that party was still in full swing.

Pubs and restaurants had open hatches where they dished out drinks to punters wrapped in swaddling jackets and hats braving the cold for some social relief.

It wasn't just pubs and restaurants getting in on the act as one lap dancing club was selling G&Ts from behind a tiny coffee table. Outside one bar at least 50 punters were huddled together, casually chatting, singing and even dancing as the alcohol flowed from at least three separate premises nearby.

Masks, which will soon be a part of outdoor public health guidelines, were few and far between.

Another pub had a long line of customers, while around the corner Molly Malone must have been weeping as hordes of young men turned her wheelbarrow into a sewer, using the cove behind her as a public toilet.

It wasn't all booze and body fluids though as some people had coffee and teas and took in the beauty of the Christmas lights.

But others drank hot whiskeys and rum chocolates from a separate bar.

During the 90 minutes the Sunday World observed these scenes, we did not come across one single garda.

From Tuesday, the entire country will move to Level Three, which allows non-essential retail to open, sending hundreds more shoppers and punters down Grafton Street in the coming weeks.

If the Government is serious about curtailing the rise in daily case numbers then this flagrant flaunting of public health guidelines must be addressed - before we lose Christmas.

Close

The streets were busy with people looking
for fun

The streets were busy with people looking for fun

The streets were busy with people looking for fun

Close

Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Sunday World


Top Videos





Privacy