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The kids are alright Panti Bliss slams "finger waggers" after South William St crowds

Young people are the least risk averse and your tweets will not change that which evolution has hard-wired in”

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Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss

Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss

Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss

Panti Bliss has hit out at those “finger wagging” at crowds who gathered on South William Street and surrounding areas on Saturday evening.

Four people were arrested for public order offences as hundreds gathered in Dublin city centre last night.

Footage of the area from this morning also showed large amounts of rubbish littered around the street.

Last night gardaí were also involved in moving people on who were gathering in Temple Bar and St Stephens Green with no arrests made.

However, Panti Bliss – whose real name is Rory O’Neill - has argued that young people were just doing what they were told to do by having an outdoor summer, as advised by the Government.

The 52-year-old drag queen and gay rights activist said that he was “shocked” at the outrage from people who have their own gardens to socialise in.

In a series of tweets, he wrote: “If you live in a house and have a garden and were once young and are shocked or angry on Twitter that young people are desperate to be young and are doing exactly what they were told to do by having an outdoor summer, I'm shocked that you're shocked or angry. Also...

“... after 40 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we have 40 years of extensive research into what kind of harm reduction messaging in an epidemic works - and what doesn't - and it's very clear that no one in Gov or on Twitter has read any of it.

“But hint: finger wagging does NOT work.

“Unlike many people on Twitter, I have great respect for Tony Holohan. But he has no expertise in harm reduction messaging.”

Panti continued: “Young people are the least risk averse and your tweets will not change that which evolution has hard-wired in.

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“Messaging and policy has to acknowledge and accept that people - *especially* the young - will socialise, and work pragmatically with that.”

Panti’s tweets come as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar shared his concerns about mass gatherings in the city centre and said that local lockdowns still remain an option.

“It is an option if we need to use it, but hopefully we won't have to,” he said.

Mr Varadkar added that there has been increasing concern about the risk of a fourth wave.

“The course we're taking in the view of NPHET and the CMO is a low to moderate risk, but low to moderate risk doesn't mean no risk.

“And of course, there is a risk of repeating what happened in December,” he added.

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