LIMERICK’S most senior garda has expressed “satisfaction” at traffic arrangements proposed by the GAA for staging concerts at the Gaelic Grounds.
But Chief Superintendent David Sheahan warned that gardai would examine each licence application for gigs as they arise, taking account of security risks.
“As you are aware, the holding of any major event presents significant policing, traffic and security issues,” Chief Supt Sheahan wrote to Limerick GAA county secretary Mike O’Riordan on February 1.
“Individual examination of each event is required as the type of concert and the attendance demographic have to be reflected in policing plans. I must be cognisant of the overarching issue of public safety and be satisfied that security issues, disruption to traffic and disruption to the local community are minimised.
“I have examined the plans of your consultants in respect of traffic layout, access and egress and emergency routes, and from a policing perspective I am satisfied with those proposals. However, I must qualify such satisfaction by highlighting that should your application for permission be successful, individual licences will have to be obtained for each event.”
The qualified approval of the gardai comes as a boost to Limerick GAA, which was asked to address what Limerick City Council described as a “wholly inadequate” traffic management plan for its proposals to stage concerts at the Ennis Road stadium.
With Thomond Park preparing to rock to Bruce Springsteen this summer, the GAA has lodged a planning application with Limerick City Council that could allow concerts - in principle - at the GAA grounds with a capacity of up to 49,000.
Documents supporting the application show nine GAA clubs would provide 1200 spaces for a park and ride system to and from the ground, with another 2000 spaces being provided at Limerick Racecourse. This is in addition to park and ride services already being provided on match days from hotels around the city.
The proposals have attracted strong opposition from residents associations in Clareview and Greystones while Coolraine Terrace residents expressed concern over the violence that marred the Swedish House Mafia show at the Phoenix Park last year during which nine people were stabbed.
Promoters MCD were critical of the policing plan at that event but the force was defended by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.