Busy city 'It's disgusting to see' - publicans angry over footage of groups socialising in Dublin
Video footage showing crowds of revellers on Dublin’s South William Street on Saturday night has caused anger among publicans who have been closed for months.
Hard-pressed pub owners fear that an easing of lockdown restrictions could be hampered by such public displays of irresponsible behaviour.
The recording shows scores of young people socialising on the street with rubbish bins overflowing onto the footpath.
They are standing together in large groups with no regard to the two-metre social distancing regulation.
The scenes are like what would be seen in pre-Covid times on a busy weekend night in Dublin city centre.
Responding to the scenes, Grogan’s Castle Lounge, which is on South William Street, posted a tweet saying: “Eight months closed yesterday. Deemed unsafe to operate by NPHET and Government. Is this safer?”
The tweet said the owners of Grogans were “furious”.
"Clearly nearby properties don’t have to follow the rules. Our premises is in a disgraceful state this morning with tonnes of rubbish and people using it as a toilet,” it added.
There has been criticism that despite lockdowns and restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather together, there have been large gatherings at different locations where people are drinking alcohol they have bought in off-licences or as take-aways from pubs allowed to sell drinks that way.
The footage from South William Street prompted an angry reaction from the public, and criticism of An Garda Siochana.
A statement from the Garda Press Office said gardai responded to reports of a large gathering of people on South William Street on Saturday evening.
“Gardaí attended the scene and requested all persons to disperse. Gardaí maintained a presence in the area. No breaches of regulations were detected,” it said.
“A number of patrols were conducted in the area over the course of the evening,” it added.
The statement said the Health Act governing temporary restrictions due to Covid came into effect on October 22.
“In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Garda members engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce,” it added.
“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives,” it concluded.