herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Locals' anger at Marlay Park 'damage' as 40k set to descend for Longitude

Construction has started on the Longitude site at Marlay Park. Photo: Colin Keegan
Construction has started on the Longitude site at Marlay Park. Photo: Colin Keegan

One of the country's biggest festivals will take place next weekend amid rising temperatures as acts like Cardi B, Stormzy and Asap Rocky take to the stage at Longitude.

Some 40,000 revellers will head to Marlay Park on Friday, July 5, but are being urged by organisers and gardai to create "minimal impact".

More than 200 gardai and security personnel will patrol the park and attendees are being warned that antisocial behaviour and public urination will not be tolerated at the event.

"We want to conduct the event with as much minimal impact to local residents as possible," said Superintendent Ian Lacken.

The festival, which is in its seventh year, will mean local road closures over the weekend.

"It will be an inconvenience to local people, and we would ask them to bear with us. We would also ask festival-goers to respect the local area and local residents," he added.

Protected

However, Mary Kelly, the chairperson of heritage group South Dublin Save Our Park (SDSOP), told the Herald the group is very concerned about the damage large concerts do to the landscape of the 18th-century park.

"Concerts have already caused damage and we're concerned it'll cause more damage," she said.

"There's specific features common to all of the landscapes and we want to see this protected."

She said historical sites like Marlay House, walkways and 18th-century stonework were not made for large events.

"For the sake of the park, the question of historic features is very clear - for bridges, waterways and stoneways, there is not to be any large-scale events in those areas," she said.

The group is also worried about the impact the festival has on wildlife.

"On concert days, the noise levels are horrendous. For wildlife, noise and lighting must be significantly reduced," Ms Kelly said.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council senior executive officer Therese Langan said the council has worked closely with local resident associations.

"We meet with them twice a year and after the concerts we get feedback from them and see if there's ways that can improve, in terms of stewarding or security," she said.

"We also work with them and present ideas to them and develop ideas around how the money can be invested in the park."

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