Jun 21, 2021

GARDAI need to blitz the streets of Dublin 24/7 to eliminate the problem of feral youths acting the maggot, it is claimed.
Temple Bar boss Martin Harte called on more Gardai to stamp out the scenes that have shamed the city in recent weeks as it emerged that some pubs are shutting early to avoid the chaos.
Calls have been made for a constant Garda presence in the city centreCredit: PA:Press Association
Martin Harte said trouble is not the same levels as six years ago but more Gardai are neededCredit: Crispin Rodwell – The Sun Dublin
Inebriated children as young as 15 were among 26 public order arrests in the city centre on Saturday night as gardai were once again forced to deal with unsupervised, drunk youths coming in to town from the suburbs.
Mr Harte told the Irish Sun: We want to have a healthy vibrant city without people ruining it for others.
 We need a constant presence in the city, Gardai need to blitz the place. And the only way we can stop trouble is with a very strong visible presence. 
Not just Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights but 24/7. They need to be dealt with with harsh sanctions and zero tolerance to trouble.
Sources told the Irish Sun that despite resources being stretched, a decision was made by gardai for rigid enforcement which resulted in 26 arrests.
One said:
One said: Six of those were juveniles, aged as young as 15, and one girl aged 15, in town drunk and unsupervised.
Once more hundreds of teenagers were coming in to the city unsupervised. The decision was taken to adopt  a zero tolerance approach with highly intoxicated young people. 
The arrests send a message that this type of behaviour is unacceptable.
Green Party candidate in the Dublin Bay South by-election Claire Byrne insisted the scenes of carnage witnessed over the past few weeks were really gutting and called for a night mayor to work with gardai.
She told the Irish Sun: Last weekend, the city completely transformed. It was alive with people outside enjoying themselves and seeing people they hadnt seen in a really long time. 
I was really gutted to see problems again at the weekend. We need to do more.  
One of the key things I think in terms of this issue, and its not a new issue but its been very amplified because of the pandemic, is its all about rethinking Dublin as a city for living in again. 
There have been a number of fights across Dublin in recent weeks in areas such as South William Street and Exchequer Street.
Horrified shoppers ran away in fear when a large-scale fight broke out at around 5.30pm on Grafton Street on Saturday.
The brawl was an organised fight between warring young people from Balbriggan. 
One young teenager was rushed to St James Hospital after being stabbed in the leg.
Gardai yesterday said investigations are ongoing in relation to the large row, which saw up to 30 people gathering for a fight.
Elsewhere, officers had to deal with fights in Temple Bar, as well as reports of glasses being thrown at restaurant staff.
One source said: I have never seen it so bad in the city centre.
Three young men were arrested on Friday following an attack on bar staff on South William Street on Thursday.
Gardai are still searching for the fourth suspect who can be seen in videos circulating social media. 
CEO of the Temple Bar Company Harte said while the anti-social behaviour is not as bad as it used to be, there needs to be a huge increase in Garda visibility before it gets worse.
He said: The tables and chairs plan really improved the area and there have been certain times in places like Essex St and Parliament Street where you could have been anywhere in the world, so there have been a lot of positives over the last couple of weeks. 
But this behaviour is still happening across the city.
“It is nowhere near as bad as it was two or three weeks ago when we saw all that trouble on South William Street and in Temple Bar. 
It needs to be stamped out and is going to have to be dealt with long term.
Martin said it was a bigger problem around six years ago and he doesnt want that to return.
There has always been an element of trouble to be honest and for want of a better phrase, feral youths coming into the city and acting the maggot. 
That was largely eliminated and we want to have a healthy vibrant city without people ruining it for others. 
As I say I dont think it is as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago but these things seem to be a flash group coming around, creating havoc and then disappearing. 
We need an increased Garda presence in the city centre, that is going to be very important as we start to get up and running. 
The Government have put a lot of investment into a lot of areas since Covid but I am not sure they invested into the number of police.
Garda sources say the future of the city is at stake.
One added: The vast majority coming in to the south inner city are mature and there is no issue. We are trying to provide a safe environment for all but resources are stretched thin.
One man who spent Saturday in the city told the Irish Sun: It was great to see a lovely buzz around Dublin earlier in the day, people sitting outside in the sun gave it a real continental vibe. 
But it all changed at around 8pm when hundreds of young people arrived out of nowhere, mainly teenagers, seeming intent on just causing trouble. 
The atmosphere suddenly changed and it became quite intimidating and threatening. There were Garda vans everywhere and it was awful to see Dublin like this. 
We couldnt wait to get out of there and get home. Its awful to see so many businesses whove waited so long to open and trade now faced with this. The Gardai dont deserve this either. 
One pub owner, who didnt want to be identified, told us that he was warned by the Gardai that they were expecting trouble and would be closing early because of it.
He said: The Gardai said they were expecting it all to kick off again so were going to close up at 9pm, its just not worth it at the minute. 
Its awful that after being closed for so long we now have to lock up early because of this. And its all people you wouldnt see in town for a night out before Covid. 
Theyre not in town to get a table anywhere, theres nowhere for them to go so its just all about causing trouble for them. Theyre ruining it for everyone and its such a shame.
Martin Harte said the rise of social media plays a part as well, and added that the train stations should have a police presence too, as gangs gather to go into the city.
He explained: Weve been beating the same drum for years, and saying to change behaviour you need yellow jackets everywhere. 
Then these people need to know that trouble will not be tolerated and it is not just some fun TikTok video that is going to get traction and likes, but will actually get you in trouble.
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors have also expressed concern over the lack of resources in the gardais South Central Division.
At present, Operation Pier is also ongoing in the area and has led to a number of drugs seizures and also people being arrested for other serious offences.
Members of the Garda move people away from the Temple Bar area of Dublin’s city centre.Credit: PA:Press Association
Shocking moment bar staff have to defend themselves against gangs of youths on Thursday night on South William StreetCredit: DublinLive