POTD -Directions

By chance I had a long standing appointment in Dublin yesterday so experienced at first hand the chaos on the streets of Dublin with the visit of O’Bama. Roads closed and diversions in place meant that a 20 minute walk took me 40 minutes. As O’Bama arrived in the early afternoon, I happened to be on the right side of the road as the cavalcade swept past with an improbable array of vehicles, including 4×4’s fully loaded with armed response units, smiling and joking as they swept through the empty roads. That delay of 15 mins was a minor inconvenience compared to getting bottlenecked (kettled) along with around 300 people at O’Connell bridge around 6.30pm.  There was no information coming from the Garda officers and the numbers grew steadily.  At one point I saw a man clearly freaked out at being caught in the crush. He made for the barrier but I don’t know what happened to him but he was clearly distraught at getting caught in such a crush of people.

We had to wait for 30 mins as the O’Bama’s said their goodbyes after the “concert” at the green. I had been in good time to get the 7pm train back but with the delay i got the station at quarter past 7. Thankfully Translink had delayed departure by half an hour. Whilst i understand the need for security and alternative routes etc, the Garda officers standing around with both arms the same length did not strike me as being very interested in too much other than getting the over time in and seeing if they could get a glimpse of the President.

Earlier in the day I had asked a Garda officer for directions. He told me he was up from Cork and had been since last week for the Queens visit and didn’t have a clue as to where I should be going with road closures etc. Whilst it’s understandable with the security concerns since the assasination killing of Osama Bin Laden and the dissident threat I would have expected the Garda officers to be better organised and prepared to  inform people as to what was going on. Simple crowd control and understanding of the dangers of too many people in a confined space simply didn’t seem to factor into the thinking of the guarda. I am left unimpressed with the organisational ability of the guarda and their understanding of having large groups of people on the street with little or no direction from the authorities.


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  • redhugh78

    Dry your eyes mate….

  • Nunoftheabove


    LOL – yeah, imagine the shock of coming across a southern copper (or ‘Garda Síochána/RIC’ as the traditional republican fraternity probably insist on calling them these days) who didn’t know what the hell they were doing. One hopes the copper frae Corcaigh managed to find his own way home on horseback alright, ready to tell all the family back home about his big day in ‘that manky feckin’ hoor-hole tip of a place up above’.

  • Nicely put redhugh78 LOL

  • belfastjj – yet another insightful comment. Looking at your comments in the last month it seems you missed me so much that you even asked where i was.

  • Ok, so some of the gards were not familiar with the city and the road closures and diversions must have been irritating, but unless you have been penned in a small space with a large number of people with no way out and no facilities, then I’m sorry Moochin you were well off. Kettling has not hit Ireland and no gard faces manslaughter charges. Count your blessings.

  • The kettling reference was very tongue in cheek.
    Having been in large crowds over the years at football matches primarily and having friends and relatives who survived Heysel and Hillsborough i was extremely disconcerted by the lack of info coming from the garda officers and how the crowd did build up. Yes there was an escape along the river but it was the wrong direction to the train station.
    Anyhoo at least you read what i was saying Pippakin rather than trolling

  • Moochin

    Was I trolling? I’m sorry that didn’t occur to me. The public prosecutor in England (or whatever he calls himself) announced yesterday that as a result of the findings made during the inquest PC Harwood would be charged with manslaughter for the death of Mr Ian Tomlinson who as you probably know died during a protest march in London You wrote a post about difficulties in Dublin. I simply saw it as coincidence and highlighted the difference in methods.

  • That trolling comment wasn’t aimed at you pip fear ye not.