| 15.7°C Dublin

Rowdy revellers Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says large crowds are not 'the kind of scenes that we want to see'

The weather is good and understandably people are going to want to get outdoors and I’d rather see them outdoors than indoors."


Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said large crowds gathering together outdoors is “not the kind of scenes we want to see”. 

Yesterday, crowds of people gathering together and enjoying the weather were seen right across the country.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said he was “absolutely shocked” by crowds partying openly in Dublin streets on Saturday night.

“Drove into Dublin City Centre to collect someone from work at 815 PM,” he said on Twitter.

“Absolutely shocked at scenes in South Great George’s St, Exchequer St, South William St area.

“Enormous crowds - like a major open air party. This is what we do not need when we have made so much progress.”

When asked on RTÉ Radio 1 if he has the same concerns as Dr Holohan, Mr Varadkar said “I do.”

"I do, people are allowed to meet up outdoors and we are encouraging people to meet outdoors rather than indoors but it’s still supposed to be three households and if people are in a crowded outdoor space we still recommend people wear face masks and observe social distancing,” he said.

"Those scenes are not the kind of scenes that we want to see but I would caveat that with I do understand people have had a very tough few months and haven’t been able to see family or friends.

“The weather is good and understandably people are going to want to get outdoors and I’d rather see them outdoors than indoors."

The Tánaiste added that indoor gatherings aren’t mentioned as much because they aren’t as blatant.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"We don’t get as annoyed about indoors because we don’t see it,” he said.

However, HSE boss Paul Reid said the country shouldn’t “lose trust” in people doing the right thing following the gatherings.

“Let's not forget, it has been the Irish people, young and old, who have got us to be in a much better place with #COVID19,” he said on Twitter.

"So many sacrifices have been made. There are still many risks to be protected against, but let's not lose trust in people doing the right thing.”

Mr Varadkar said there is a risk of a fourth wave as more people begin to socialise, as only 20pc of the population is fully vaccinated.

“The course that we are charting in the view of Nphet is low to moderate risk, but that doesn’t mean no risk, there is a risk and that does relate to a repeat of more or less of what we saw in December,” he said.

“We saw increased socialisation aided then by a new variant from the UK coming in linked from foreign travel and that led to the third wave.

“There is a risk of a fourth wave happening for a similar reason, increased socialisation across the summer and this Indian variant or even the Viatnemese variant.

“That is a risk but what’s different now is vaccines and they work against all the variants but the problem is only 20pc of our population is fully vaccinated.”

He said Government’s target now is to get over 60pc of adults fully vaccinated by the end of July.

Following the gatherings yesterday many videos have been posted on social media showing a large amount of litter on the streets.

In one video taken this morning rubbish can be seen scattered all along Dublin’s South William Street as two council workers tackle it.

Yesterday, Galway City Council closed off a pier by the River Corrib, which is known by locals as ‘Middle Arch’,after gardaí requested it.

It was blocked off yesterday morning due to crowds gathering in the area and it will remain closed for a number of weeks.

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