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Limerick residents fear gig violence and chaos

NORTHSIDE residents have accused the GAA of breaking its word not to hold concerts at the Gaelic Grounds.

NORTHSIDE residents have accused the GAA of breaking its word not to hold concerts at the Gaelic Grounds.

Limerick City Council is to decide within three weeks on a planning application that would permit concerts in principle at the Ennis Road stadium.

But individual licence applications would have to be made for each concert, according to documents submitted with the planning department.

The GAA anticipates that performances would finish by 10.30pm with the floodlights out by 11pm.

Concerts would attract crowds of up to 49,000 people, just over 4,000 more than matchday capacity and consultants for the GAA argue that existing parking and traffic control arrangements for matches would suffice for concerts.

But residents in the surrounding area argue that gigs would attract a younger and potentially more volatile crowd.

One objection on behalf of Coolraine Terrace residents fears a repeat of the disorder that marred the Swedish House Mafia gig in the Phoenix Park last July.

The objection cites the “unruly behaviour by people under the influence of drink/drugs”, continuing that “the media have highlighted this fact in the past week, for example Phoenix Park and Lansdowne Road”.

Illegal parking by GAA supporters on match days remained a significant problem at Coolraine Terrace and residents had been “verbally abused in the past” after asking supporters to move on.

A separate objection from the Clareview Residents Association states: “we believe that such concerts will become lowest common denominator events to generate money. The result of this will be issues with public order such as drunkeness, violence and vandalism to public property”.

“We would point out that the GAA in the past said that there would be no concerts and now they are reneging on their promise”.

The Clareview residents say there is “no proper parking plan in force” for the Gaelic Grounds and describe the current plan “submitted by the GAA and approved by the City Council” as “a work of fiction”.

Greystones and District Residents Association has submitted a third formal objection, pointing to what it considers to be inadequate toilet and waste disposal facilities to cater for such large crowds.

The planning department, meanwhile, has expressed its own reservations on aspects of the GAA’s application, seeking further information on what it described as the proposal’s “wholly inadequate” traffic management plan.

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