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Pub's rage as video shows revellers on city streets

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Crowds on South William Street ignored lockdown rules

Crowds on South William Street ignored lockdown rules

Crowds on South William Street ignored lockdown rules

Video footage showing crowds of revellers on Dublin's South William Street on Saturday night has caused anger among publicans who have been closed for months.

The recording shows scores of young people socialising on the street and has led to a rise in fears that an easing of lockdown restrictions could be hampered by such irresponsible behaviour.

They are standing together in large groups with no regard to the two-metre social distancing regulations.

Responding to the scenes, Grogan's Castle Lounge, which is on South William Street, posted a tweet saying: "Eight months closed yesterday. Deemed unsafe to operate by Nphet and Government. Is this safer?

"Clearly nearby properties don't have to follow the rules. Our premises is in a disgraceful state this morning with tonnes of rubbish and people using it as a toilet."

Foolish

Martin Harte of the Temple Bar Company, representing the business, cultural and voluntary sectors in that region of the city, branded the actions of those in the video as "foolish".

"I think it's a matter of enforcement really, and will continue until people see steps being taken to stop it," he said.

A statement from gardaí said they had responded to reports of a large gathering of people on South William Street on Saturday evening.

"Gardaí attended the scene and requested all persons to disperse. Gardaí maintained a presence in the area. No breaches of regulations were detected," it said.

"A number of patrols were conducted in the area over the course of the evening."

The statement said the Health Act governing temporary restrictions due to Covid came into effect on October 22.

"In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent," it said.

It comes as the Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it's not practical for pubs to open for a short period during Christmas only to close them again due to another lockdown afterwards.

VFI CEO Padraig Cribben also said that pubs need to have indoor drinking and dining in order for it to be viable for them to reopen in December.

"There are substantial costs in opening up and even greater costs in closing down - loss of draught stock, etc, that make short periods of trading unviable," he said.

"It also causes great stress for publicans and staff alike."


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