herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

City streets descend into chaos as festivities take a violent turn

The capital’s streets descended into chaos yesterday as the emergency services dealt with the fallout from St Patrick’s Day.

Dublin Fire Brigade received more than 300 calls between 6pm yesterday and 7am this morning, which included 10 assaults in the city centre that emergency crews say were all alcohol-fuelled.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke said that even “one attack is one too many”.

Elsewhere in the capital, two men in their 30s were hospitalised after they were set upon by a gang of youths while waiting at the Luas stop at The Square in Tallaght.

One of the men was knocked unconscious in the brutal attack at 6.45pm. Both casualties were rushed to Tallaght Hospital where they were being treated for their injuries last night. The scene was sealed off by gardai and the Luas stop was closed for a time to all passengers.

Two men were arrested and later released without charge, with files being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Separately, a 16-year-old received facial injuries after he was assaulted with a bottle to the head in Skerries.

Tallaght4.jpg
Gardai investigate the assault of two men in their thirties by a group of youths at the Luas stop in Tallaght, Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron

Gardai investigate the assault of two men in their thirties by a group of youths at the Luas stop in Tallaght, Dublin

The scene yesterday as the tourist is attacked
The scene yesterday as the tourist is attacked
Gardai deal with with a disturbance at the St Patricks Festival in Temple Bar, Dublin
Gardai investigate the assault of two men in their thirties by a group of youths at the Luas stop in Tallaght, Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
Gardai investigate the assault of two men in their thirties by a group of youths at the Luas stop in Tallaght, Dublin
Gardai investigate the assault of two men in their thirties by a group of youths at the Luas stop in Tallaght, Dublin
Gardai investigate the assault of two men in their thirties by a group of youths at the Luas stop in Tallaght, Dublin
Gardai deal with with a disturbance at the St Patricks Festival in Temple Bar, Dublin

While the vast majority of the 500,000 people who came for the festivities enjoyed the occasion peacefully, others wandered the capital drunk and determined to dampen the mood of the national holiday.

On the quays, a gang of youngsters lashed out at a tourist who was here to enjoy the festival.

The man’s hat was stolen by the gang as he walked along the street just after 2pm. As the innocent visitor attempted to retrieve his hat, he was set upon by several juveniles, with a number punches being thrown before gardai intervened.

One of the perpetrators was hauled into the back of a garda van and taken away, while officers confiscated several bottles of spirits the youths were consuming.

The Lord Mayor Mr Burke this morning said he hopes the tourist wasn’t badly hurt in the assault.

“Overall the day was a great success and the gardai are to be commended for their hands-on approach towards keeping the city safe, but one attack is one too many and I hope that the victim was not badly hurt and his attackers will meet the full force of the law,” he told the Herald.

Mr Burke said a tourist’s experience while away is brought back to their home country, and that includes the positives and the negatives and will influence or deter others from travelling.

“Thankfully, all the tourists I spoke to yesterday from all over the world enjoyed themselves and had a positive experience,” he said.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said the gang culture has made the city a place the general public is now fearful of visiting.

“This attack on a vulnerable tourist is awful, but it doesn’t have to be St Patrick’s Day, this type of thing is happening at any hour of any day now,” he said. “Another thing I noticed yesterday was the number of people urinating in the street, it was disgusting.

“There also seems to be a behaviour among adults that is creeping back, one where they think Dublin is a city you can be drunk in, and that needs to be tackled,” he added. “Yes, people can enjoy themselves in our city, but falling around drunk is not acceptable.”

Dublin Fire Brigade received more than 300 calls overnight.

A number of people were treated in hospital but no serious injuries were reported.

In one incident, a young woman was being tended to by paramedics, with her friend claiming she had been attacked by a man “for no reason”.

The violence was spread throughout the city, with one scuffle breaking out among several youths next to parents walking to the parade with their children. Footage of the incident shows a group of teens exchanging punches as shocked bystanders looked on.

In a separate incident a woman, dressed in bright green and orange attire, was detained after an altercation at a cafe on Westmoreland Street.

The city’s streets were littered with broken bottles, empty beer cans and fast-food rubbish as the night wore on.

The garda public order unit combed the area in an attempt to prevent any anti-social behaviour. Before night fell, teens and other revellers were slumped in alleyways.

In one incident just after 9pm two men were assaulted by a juvenile, no older than 16, with a group egging him on.

The youth floored one of the men with a single punch, with the victim gingerly getting up to his feet after the attack.

Separately, a French tourist was threatened by a group of youths whom he claimed had stolen a mobile phone from him.

The inebriated gang reacted badly to the tourist’s claims, and threatened to “smash his head in” if he continued to argue with them.

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Gardai deal with with a disturbance at the St Patricks Festival in Temple Bar, Dublin

Gardai deal with with a disturbance at the St Patricks Festival in Temple Bar, Dublin

 

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