Hundreds of gardaí and security staff drafted in for Ed Sheeran concerts

Hundreds of gardaí and security staff drafted in for Ed Sheeran concerts
Ballintemple residents briefing at Páirc Uí Chaoimh to discuss the plans for the upcoming Ed Sheeran concerts. Pic; Larry Cummins

ALMOST 200 members of An Garda Síochána will be on the beat at the upcoming Ed Sheeran concerts at Páirc Uí Chaoimh to tackle issues of traffic and antisocial behaviour.

They will work alongside some 700 security personnel, two doctors, four ambulance services, 30 medics and three rescue boats. Gardaí confirmed the plan for the May 4, 5 and 6 gigs at a meeting with residents last night.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh management and staff from Aiken Promotions met with members of the public and residents living in the area surrounding the stadium.

Inspector John Deasy moved to assure locals that there will be a strong presence at the events, which will handle more than 100,000 patrons over the May bank holiday weekend. A full plan of traffic restrictions has also been released by stadium management.

Insp Deasy said, "We're very conscious of the fact that this is a new stadium and that issues may arise that we may not have thought of or expected, but we’re confident we can deal with it."

He revealed that garda mountain bike units, mobile patrols, public order units and detectives will all be in and around the area to monitor the events. In all, 80 gardaí will monitor the traffic plan across Cork with a further 100 in the area around the stadium during the concerts.

Gardaí also announced plans to hold debriefing sessions with local residents and representatives after the fact.

“We will also hold a post-event debrief session with residents to see how we could improve, what went well and what didn’t, so we can improve and plan for further events,” said Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan.

“We will also set up an email account for people to contact us directly with their concerns or to highlight issues.

“We’ve already had a few issues highlighted, including pregnant ladies worried about access to CUH, cancer patients and similar cases,” he added.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Aiken Promotions will provide temporary lighting for the areas surround Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the duration of the concerts.

Eamon O’Boyle, of Eamon Boyle and Associates (EOBA), confirmed plans to use festoon lighting, temporary lighting structures, for the three concerts.

EOBA provide Event Safety Consultancy Services to events of all sizes, with clients including Aiken Promotions. Ed Sheeran is due to open his European tour in Cork on May 4.

It was revealed in January that a standoff between city hall and the GAA over new public lights in the area almost impacted the Ed Sheeran performances.

In a meeting with residents of the area and gardaí last night, Mr O’Boyle confirmed that the lighting agreement was, in fact, part of Aiken’s contract with city hall.

He added that an event-specific medical plan has been prepared and approved, while noise monitoring will also take place during the concerts.

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