Garda report critical of MCD over Phoenix Park disturbances

Friday 03 August 2012 15.50
A number of people were stabbed during the Swedish House Mafia concert in Phoenix Park last month
A number of people were stabbed during the Swedish House Mafia concert in Phoenix Park last month

A Garda review of the violence at the Swedish House Mafia concert at the Phoenix Park last month has severely criticised concert promoters MCD.

The report identifies serious shortcomings in how security for the event was organised.

It said that the Phoenix Park was not a suitable venue for electronic dance music concerts.

The review was sent to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter who this evening published a cover letter from the Garda Commissioner outlining the main conclusions and recommendations.

The full report cannot be published because it contains extensive operational details.

The main findings include that the Phoenix Park is not a suitable venue for large scale outdoor "electric music" concerts.

It recommends that in future, promoters should stipulate the artist/type of music they intend to perform.

The report recommends a detailed risk assessment based on the type of audience likely to attend the event when applying for a permit.

In a statement, MCD said the Garda report was unbalanced and called for the full report to be made public immediately.

“MCD would also call for a full independent public inquiry be held into events which occurred at the Phoenix Park on 7 July,” it said, adding that their review into the events would be published in due course.

Other findings within the Garda report included that the size of the Event Control Centre provided by MCD was held not to be fit for purpose in the report.

Gardaí also claim that they also requested additional accommodation in the centre, which was promised by the promoters, but it failed to materialise.

The report also criticised the fact that gardaí had limited access to CCTV for the venue, meaning they were unable to proactively monitor the footage.

In the report, it said that MCD did not have appropriate security measures in place for the Swedish House Mafia concert and the associated crowd demographic.

It said security personnel were unclear on MCD's policies on checking concert-goers ID for age, removing intoxicated people and dealing with incidents of drug abuse or drug dealing.

Gardaí also criticised the temporary wooden signage used by MCD to direct patrons.

Gardaí say the signs had the potential to be removed and become offensive weapons, while the temporary lights were also left unattended in some cases.

The review also points to issues with the Grid Location system used by MCD to identify locations within the venue, and the lack of access for prison vans to the venue to transport prisoners away.

It adds that if the gardaí had been fully briefed on the likely conduct of the patrons of the Swedish House Mafia gig, they would have put an additional public order unit on site.