'Don't bring booze, we'll seize it', gardai warn
There will be zero tolerance of drinking in public places this St Patrick's weekend as all alcohol will be confiscated, An Garda Siochana has warned.
As half a million punters are expected to descend on the streets of Dublin for the annual St Patrick's Day Parade at noon on Sunday, gardai are stressing that people should not bring bags of booze with them into the city.
Chief Superintendent Lorraine Wheatley said that, in the past, 150 barrels' worth of drink was seized and that the same measures will be in place at the weekend if people are caught drinking in a public place, such as the tourist hotspot Temple Bar.
"We would rather prevent it, but we will take the drink off them," said the senior garda.
"In other years, we have filled 150 barrels with drink in the Temple Bar area so it is important that the message is sent out to young people that drink will be taken off them and they won't be allowed drink in public places."
Over the course of St Patrick's Day there will be 800 to 850 gardai on duty across the city, with a concentration on busy areas.
Gardai are also highlighting the use of ID wristbands available in city centre stations at Store Street, Mountjoy, Bridewell, Pearse Street and Kevin Street, which could help if children become separated from parents.
Meanwhile, as bad weather batters the country, festival organisers have said there is a team constantly monitoring the weather with no plans to cancel the festivities - which kick off today and run until bank holiday Monday.
The parade runs from Parnell Square to Kevin Street, with revellers advised to arrive early.
Traffic and road arrangements will be available at stpatricksfestival.ie.