There has been a lot of coverage in the media of the shocking events that occurred at the Swedish House Mafia concert in the Phoenix Park last July. I myself had reason to drive through the park that evening. Even early on it was frighteningly obvious the event was completely out of control.
Seven young people were stabbed and two young people attending the concert died from drug overdoses.
As I drove through the park I saw a total of two Gardaí, positioned at the entrance at Islandbridge. What particularly disturbed me was the complete absence of security personnel.
Since the aftermath of the devastation caused, there have been many accounts in the papers of what went wrong and indeed photo images of young people stabbed, slashed, beaten, bloodied, fighting and displaying the serious effects of alcohol and drug abuse.
Equally there have been accounts, statements, reports and the like from the Gardai, Dublin City Council and recently the concert promoters MCD attempting to exonerate themselves of responsibility for what happened and the devastation caused. Instead of having an immediate Public Enquiry these vested interests have engaged in a “blame game” which apart from serving no purpose is incredibly insulting and insensitive to those who have been personally and tragically effected by the events that night.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
Yes, it was to be expected there would be a lot of drinking and drug abuse. Yes, it was expected there was likely to be anti-social behaviour. Yes, it was expected to attract large numbers. This is the society we live in.
As a matter of law MCD, Dublin City Council and the Garda Authorities had a shared responsibility that night but PRIMARY responsibility for organising, over-seeing and maintaining safety at the venue rested with MCD. They were the official concert promoters………….they booked and organised the event…………….THEY ULTIMATELY POCKETED THE PROCEEDS OF the 45,000 PATRONS ATTENDING.
Minister Shatter was quoted as saying “anti-social behaviour at these out-door concert events is a concern but security at this event was entirely inadequate”.
The point is MCD as the concert promoters and organisers had or should have had full knowledge of the risks involved with this event, i.e. the drinking, the drug abuse, the anti-social behaviour and need for crowd control. IT HAS BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED BY ALL THE SIDES THE VENUE WAS UNSUITABLE……. TOO DIFFICULT TO MANAGE AND CONTROL.
MCD SHOULD HAVE RECOGNISED THESE RISKS…………………..THEY HAVE PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS AREA. Equally there are a private profit making organisation who have the money to put in place adequate, proper security appropriate to the event.
Let us remember it is we the tax payer who pay for the Gardai and our local authority services. The question must be asked – does MCD expect us to pay for their profit making enterprises AND to pay for their mistakes?????
Mr Denis Desmond should be held to account for his ridiculous statement “what happened was a result of an individual or a small number of individuals engaging in anti-social behaviour”. His claim to have been “100% satisfied with the security provided” really begs the question should MCD ever be allowed to run a concert in this country again?
Who is he kidding?
At C. M. Haughey Solicitors we have successfully represented clients who have been injured at concert venues including concerts booked and organised by MCD. It is simply negligent not to provide proper safety procedures and precautions for patrons attending such events and this includes safe access and egress; visible and on-hand security protection and personnel; ambulance and on-site medical facilities; safe and proper equipment such as walk-ways, barriers and toilet facilities; ticket checking; ongoing monitoring and supervising; and CCTV surveillance.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like the benefit of confidential expert advice please call for an initial assessment and Caoimhe Haughey will be happy to speak to you.