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Massive ‘babysitting’ job underway as One Direction fever hits Croker

“LOTS of children, wristbands, screaming, and earplugs” are what event controller Eamon Fox is expecting in Croke Park as boyband supergroup One Direction take to the stage.

He was speaking as organisers of this weekend’s concerts said they have been working tirelessly for weeks to turn Croke Park into “a giant children’s playground” and likened the mammoth task to “babysitting”.

The stage where Louis, Harry, Zayn, Niall and Liam will entertain the screaming fans on is perched on Hill 16.

It is just one of three which is being used as part of One Direction’s Where We Are’ world tour and is arriving on 70 trucks.

Concert promoters MCD said the preparations they are making will provide a safe environment for the 240,000 young revellers who are set to descend upon the stadium over the coming days.

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“There are restrictions in areas, which sometimes may seem a bit harsh. We are not letting any under 14s on to the pitch, but it is for the safety of under 14s. We have all of that at heart,” he said.

He said that goal of MCD and Croke Park authorities is that “everybody has a great time”.

Meanwhile, Niall’s brother Greg revealed that he has a cardboard cut-out of his superstar brother in his sitting room so the singer’s young nephew Theo doesn’t miss him while he is touring the world.

He said: “If Theo saw a picture of Niall, he would smile and get excited if you say where’s Niall?’ he looks 
back at the cardboard cut-out.”

Children as young as five are expected to be amongst the fans at this weekend’s concerts and a special smartphone app has been developed, specially trained staff have been employed and a tag your child’ system are amongst some of the safety measures set to be put in place.

He explained that the tag your child’ system will be in operation at the entrances, and this will allow parents to put their seat number and contact information on the tag which will then be placed on the child should they get lost.

Organisers said measures have also been put in place to protect the local community and to ensure that there is minimal disturbance for the residents.

A dedicated helpline can be contacted for free on 1800 303 593.

hnews@herald.ie


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