herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Gardai 'did a great job' in keeping streets safe despite isolated violence

a TEMPLE bar restaurant owner has commended gardai for their crackdown on underage drinking during St Patricks Day.

Noel Carroll, owner of Ray's Pizza in Temple Bar, said that gardai were "fantastic" in clearing out gangs of young people who were engaging in under-age drinking.

"They [gardai] got on top of the situation. It's a very, very difficult situation they are in. The enemy, so to speak, is 13 to 16-year-olds," he said.

"It seems to me to be mainly girls, but some of them are boys and they are very difficult to police because they have their mobile phones out in an instant of course.

Mr Carroll, speaking to Joe Duffy on RTE radio yesterday, said that he noticed that tourists "didn't seem to be afraid".

Sharp

But he commented that while they think Dublin is a "mecca", what they actually see is indescribable.

He also said that his business has had to adapt to life in Temple Bar, making sure there are "no sharp edges" in the restaurant.

"We build the place strong enough so that it can withstand them," Mr Carroll said. "There are no sharp edges [in the restaurant], we cater for them."

He said that groups of Public Order teams and gardai were actively "targeting the younger people" on Tuesday, and that their efforts resulted in a better year than last year's "low".

"If you saw the age of some of these kids drunk out of their minds," he said.

"The atmosphere was different this year. We saw 120 kids screaming by the door last year and that didn't happen this year."

This St Patrick's Day, gardai deployed a special unit to the streets of Dublin with a view to preventing anti-social behaviour in the south city centre .

A garda spokesperson said the extra measures were taken "to ensure that the city centre was a safe place to socialise and enjoy, specifically targeting under-age drinking and drinking in public places.

Despite the measures, violence still descended on the city's streets, with Dublin Fire Brigade receiving over 300 calls between 6pm yesterday and 7am.

There were 34 assaults in the city centre. Emergency crews said the vast number of these were alcohol-fuelled.

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