NRCC’s Submission on Event Licence Application for Ed Sheeran Concerts – May 2018

 

NRCC is operating since 1968 dealing with residents associations, individual residents and any other groups who might wish to approach us,  throughout Navan Road,  residential areas on North and South side of Navan Road, and Blackhorse Avenue  abutting Phoenix Park. We have participated in all applications for these large scale music events in the Phoenix Park – meeting with promoters and gardai and keeping local residents informed.

  • A ‘Public Meeting’ held on 26th September in Castleknock Hotel, was so badly communicated to the ‘public’  that only  12 members of the public were in attendance, including our rep. A previous meeting at some date in August, was said at this meeting  to be intended for ‘public reps only’ – although local public reps we have spoken to  were unaware of such an  event – subsequently ‘cancelled’ – an unfortunate lack of care and concern for the Phoenix Park.
  • We refer to the following protocol, put in place by Executive Manager DCC, following previous concerts in the Phoenix Park, but not followed   –

     ‘Review for Economic Development & Planning & International

      Relations SPC in respect of Public Event Licences’

   No Planning notice was listed in Planning Lists as per Item 3.

We  set out below our main areas of Concern:-

 

  • Phoenix Park a National Historic Park and Historic Garden.

 

 

  • Nuisance abatement measures to minimise impact on local residents

 

surrounding the Phoenix Park.

Including:-

*UNESCO Safeguarding Beauty & Character of Landscape and Sites – 1962;

*Convention for Protection of Architectural Heritage of Europe – 1985 –

OF WHICH IRELAND IS A SIGNATORY.

*ICOMOS Charters & Conventions of which the following are more pertinent:-

Athens Charter for Restoration of Historic Monuments (1931) ;

Venice Charter (1964)

Convention concerning Protection of World Cultural & Natural Heritage 1972

Burra Charter 1979, revised 1999;

Historic Gardens – Florence Charter 1981;

Charter for Protection and Management of Archaeological Heritage – The Valetta Convention 1960;

Principles for Recording of Monuments, Groups of Buildings and Sites 1996;

International Cultural Tourism Charter 1999.”

As a matter of record, we would draw Dublin City Council attention to the following definition included within the 1962 Charter referred to above:

“At  the 12th session of General Conference of UNESCO held in Paris 11th December, 1962 – the Recommendation concerning the safeguarding of the Beauty and Character of Landscape and Sites was adopted.

The recommendation covers the protection not only of natural landscapes and sites but also man-made landscapes.”

It is our contention that the Phoenix Park falls within that designation.

The Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of the Architectural heritage in Europe was ADOPTED BY THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF MINISTERS and opened for signature in Granada on 3rd October, 1985 –

Ireland  being among the signatories.

Ireland  as a contracting party will be obliged to protect its identified Architectural Heritage and, in the meantime, should not take measures which are contrary to the convention.”

We fail to understand how granting Licences for three  large scale events, attracting 61,000 paid attendees on three separate days, (including at least 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks after for set up and take down)  – the subject of the current application “Protects Irelands identified Architectural Heritage”

CONDITIONS FOR THIS YEARS  EVENTS – IF APPROVED

Should  DCC grant an Events Licence for the proposed Concerts on 16th/

18th/19th May, 2018  –   the following Conditions must be imposed:-

Condition: VEHICULAR TRACKING

Suitable temporary tracking be placed leading off any roadway abutting the venue, and all the way into the venue from the drop-off area, to facilitate wheel-chair users, BUT ensuring that the adjoining cycle lanes are not interfered with..

Condition: AMBULANCES

Ambulances be paid for and stationed at Ashtown, & Castleknock Gates and Parkgate entrances to Phoenix Park, in the hope of preventing any further unfortunate incidents , as occurred  previously.

Condition: HOSPITAL EMERGENCY PLAN

A decision made, announced on radio, T.V. and Newspapers as to which Hospital will be put on call during the events. Previously, anecdotal evidence indicates that both Blanchardstown A&E, and Temple Street Childrens Hospital were inundated with casualties, and drunks, without any warning, and without being suitably prepared or forewarned.  As usual, it has been confirmed that drink will be on sale within the event area.

 Condition: PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Sufficient buses be hired and paid for, from Dublin Bus or another licensed operator, to enable patrons  be brought directly to and from the venue quickly, to prevent accidents in the Phoenix Park, where the ground can be very wet and slippery, and where it is very dark at night. The proposed drop-off/pick-up point at Acres Road is 2km (a 20 minute walk) away from the venue. We would consider this to be too far away for patrons who are unfamiliar with the park and may be unsuitably dressed. Some of our members witnessed scenes in 2013, of concert-goers stumbling in poor light down Chesterfield Avenue after Justin Timberlake. Bringing buses closer to the arena exit would avoid confusion and possible injuries.

We estimate approximately 340 buses will be required to take all of the concert attendees home. This can be divided up with a continuous shuttle of say, 50 buses running up and down to O’Connell Bridge every 2 minutes from the main road in Phoenix Park close to the venue site. A row of buses could be parked on the hard shoulder of main road in Park from Mountjoy roundabout to Eagle monument, and as each fills up, it could depart for City centre.

Condition :SIGNAGE

Clear illuminated signage directing those leaving each event to the correct local bus stops.   The local Navan Road  D.Bus stops are indicated on drawings shown at the public meeting on 26th September.    However, if  Concert goers use these local buses to travel to the events, local residents will be unable to safely access their own bus routes  CONFIRMING the need set out above for sufficient buses to be hired and paid for, prior to the events to bring patrons directly to & from  the events and be  adequately advertised.

Train services throughout the country should be advertised to try alleviate queues of cars accessing the events, clogging up local residential areas as has occurred previously.  This at times prevents householders accessing/

Exiting their own homes and prevents entry of emergency vehicles.

Condition: LIGHTING

Lighting be set up surrounding the venue, and leading all the way to main gates, to prevent accidents, and/or danger to people, especially those who might be vulnerable due to age, inebriation or separation from  their friends, who might get lost in the total darkness, after the event. There are long ditches abutting the main avenue which fill with water in wet weather.

Condition: GROUND COVER/MATTING

The ground of the entire venue be covered in a matting, as happens in Croke Park, to prevent even more damage occurring than was apparent after recent concerts.

Failure to impose the above minimum public safety conditions would amount to a reckless disregard for public safety.

Condition: CONTROL OF LITTER.

Adequate number of bins be provided on routes to, and inside the venue.

Dublin City Council to take responsibility for cleanup of entire Phoenix Park and surrounding residential areas, during and following each Concert, including the surrounding areas of Navan Road/Blackhorse Avenue/ Ashtown/Pelletstown, and other residential roads within that area,  and also Castleknock,  which becomes  Fingal area to left of Ashtown Gate.

Precautions  be taken, and paid for by promoters, of the new Tolka Valley Park, recently open to the public,  which has been  invaded  by swarms of youths with bags of drink during  previous Concerts within Phoenix Park. All litter to be cleared and removed within 24 hours of each concert.

Condition: SANITARY CONVENIENCES

Sufficient numbers of  Portaloos   be provided, and arrangements made for these to be inspected and cleaned during the course of each event,  to ensure that they remain usable.  At some previous  concerts  these were in a filthy state, and concert goers were seen walking away from them, and using the Park as a public toilet, when not using gardens in residential areas surrounding Phoenix Park as toilets .      

Gardens are regularly used as such by Concert goers leaving the events.

Condition: BOND

Bond – a bond is normally put in place with OPW.

This year such a Bond must be increased sufficiently, and be available to recompense residents with proof of loss/damage/vandalism/cleaning costs as a result of the actions of concert-goers.    Evidence of the provision of  this bond be clearly shown on the event file/s

Condition;  SECURITY

All security personnel should be FETAC trained and those stationed near to childrens  recreational areas within Phoenix Park should be Garda vetted.

N.B.

Condition: MAINTENANCE OF ACCESS TO PHOENIX PARK.

Recent queries raised at a public meeting on 26th Sept, went unanswered  as to whether all  pedestrian gates will  remain open on each day of an event.   

It is unclear if Gardai  might decide to close gates without just cause, as they have done in the past, causing considerable inconvenience and annoyance to local residents and families who use the park on a daily basis for walking, running, cycling etc.    

The primary purpose of Phoenix Park is for public recreation, and interference in that function will be regarded as prima facie evidence that the event that caused such interference is an unsuitable use of the facilities provided by Phoenix Park.

In particular, the practice of locking all pedestrian gates without notice and forcing residents and commuting cyclists to use vehicular gates remote from their normal itineraries will be recorded and used as grounds on which to object to future events being licensed.

All pedestrian access gates are to be manned by uniformed security personnel and fitted with suitable crash barriers sufficient to ensure that proper crowd control can be in place, and crush injuries avoided.

CONDITION : That no sudden change of entry gates for concert goers be allowed.,

This took place previously, causing  a sudden rush of people crushing through to gain access.  Injuries to people are likely to end as a Personal Injuries Claim against DCC as well as Festival Organisers,  and in the interest of DCC economics can and should   be avoided by this Condition.

 

 

Ends

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