herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

The morning after the night before

THREE people were stabbed and teens as young as 14 treated for alcohol poisoning as St Patrick's Day celebrations turned violent.

Drunken revellers fought with bar staff in Dublin city centre while others were hospitalised for alcohol-related injuries. School-going drinkers were rushed to hospital, as the emergency services received 134 emergency calls in just six hours in the capital. Over 50 of these were to treat assault victims.

The festivities turned violent in the city after the peaceful St Patrick's Day parade hours earlier.

The Herald accompanied members of Dublin Fire Brigade on one of their busiest nights of the year, as drink-related violence marked a bleak end to St Patrick's Day.

Three stabbings occurred in the early hours, from around 2.30am to 3am -- in Coolock, Clondalkin and Tallaght -- as pubs closed.

Dublin Fire Brigade was kept busy rescuing unconscious and seriously injured drunks from the streets and transporting them to the city's hospitals.

Emergency services received a total of 134 calls between 9pm and 3am.

Around one in three of these calls were for alcohol-related assaults, and most of the remainder concerned drunk revellers who had collapsed or were unconscious on the streets.

In Temple Bar and the inner city, teenagers as young as 14 were treated for alcohol poisoning in Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Broken glass, vomit, and fast-food wrappers littered Temple Bar's streets, where young partygoers dressed in green stumbled out of the late bars.

The Herald spotted bouncers in Temple Bar pubs having to cope with young men who had become aggressive after being refused entry.

A spate of bonfires in both private and local authority housing estates plagued firefighters in Finglas, Ballymun, Blanchardstown, and across the rest of the city before 10pm.

It is believed that youths had been hoarding materials in a Halloween-style collection to burn them last night.

Fire crews attended eight such scenes on the city's Northside, but the situation did not escalate into the rioting which occurred back in 2008.

Meanwhile, one drunk young man was left seriously injured and unconscious after he jumped from the first floor of his home in Coolock. He was rushed to Beaumont Hospital.

Firefighters were busiest last night between 1am and 2.30am when partygoers became embroiled in alcohol-related assaults on the city's streets, as nightclubs began to shut.

One drunken tourist from Belfast was found by the ambulance crew on the quays with no money, passport or any contact information for his pals.

Another young man sustained a head injury when he fell around the Holles Street area as he was walking home alone. He was taken to hospital.

It is believed that an intensified garda presence on the streets of the city and in the Finglas area especially, helped to prevent the violence escalating.

Gardai walked the Temple Bar area, Merrion Square, and O'Connell Street to monitor the festivities. In the early afternoon officers started confiscating alcohol from youths drinking on the streets.

Firefighting crews said there was a remarkably low incidence of call-outs to house fires, and there were no traffic accidents in the city up until 4am.

There was a kitchen fire in Balbriggan. Crews tried to persuade the homeowner to vacate the premises, but firefighters contained the blaze within minutes.

The biggest challenge for the fire brigade's control room in Townsend Street was to deal with the hundreds of calls from inebriated youths.

Revellers had been drinking all day on what was a mild-weathered St Patrick's Day, and mayhem exploded once the pubs began to shut.

hnews@herald.ie

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