Armed Policemen, Riot Vans, Sniffer Dogs – How Burna Boy Dublin Concert Was Almost Marred By Irish Police Intimidating Presence
Burna Boy Dublin Concert in Vicar Street Dublin, Ireland on Saturday, 26 October 2019 was almost marred by Garda (Irish Police) Intimidation: Thirteen (13) Armed Policemen, Riot Vans, Sniffer Dogs.
Vicar Street on Thomas Street, Dublin 2 has hosted a lot of events since 1998, but those who are conversant with Dublin social scenes told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that there has never been such heavy Garda presence for any other gig at the venue before. It was a such an intimidating atmosphere that it became the after-show talking points, and drawing wide spread condemnation from Dubliners.
Anna Bates in a tweet described the Garda presence as ”Absolutely mad“ and “Insane.” Mango, a rap artist and music photographer sees it as “shocking. I haven’t seen anything like it for any other gig in vicar street before. Closed the bar upstairs before he was done as well? Security on their toes all night? Loada ballacks boys.”
Also writing on her Twitter page, Eva Short expressed similar discontent: “I’ve never personally witnessed such an obvious instance of profiling in my entire life. For context: burna boy is a Nigerian artist. I’ve been going to gigs in Dublin for 8 years now and I’ve never seen anything like that police presence. Sniffer dogs, people getting patted down, everything.”
2FM presenter Tara Stewart was appalled by it: “One thing that did kind of annoy me is, not kind of annoy me, it did annoy me, was the amount of police that were there. There was literally so many police sniffer dogs, armed garda, everything, pat-downs. It was crazy and that’s going into Vicar Street out of all places.”
Also Molly Keane, a resident on Thomas Street close to the concert venue: “I live very close and I was walking into town just as the gig ended and I couldn’t get over it. I’ve never seen that many sniffer dogs and garda/vans everywhere. I didn’t realise there was a gig on tonight and thought something had happened on the street because it was so excessive.”
A source told Xclusive Magazine that “They could have had intelligence that gangs were attending?” From robbery to Schoolboy gangs in Blanchardstown and up to north county Dublin, teenage thugs continue to hold sway, committing a number of vicious assaults, robberies, violent disorder and criminal damage. Irish Sun claimed that this gang call themselves “The Pesties” and are of “African origins.”
This is obviously why Eva Short, writing on her Twitter page about her experience at the Burna Boy concert, aptly described Garda’s heavy presence as a form of profiling: “I’ve never personally witnessed such an obvious instance of profiling in my entire life. For context: burna boy is a Nigerian artist. I’ve been going to gigs in Dublin for 8 years now and I’ve never seen anything like that police presence. Sniffer dogs, people getting patted down, everything.”
Although Garda tried to put up a friendly face and to down play the “profiling” by later sharing on their Twitter page a photo of Inspector McInerney & Casserly posing with a number of Pastors of several African Irish Religious Groups at the Burna Boy Concert and describing it as a ”Great night had by all,” it seems an effort too little too late.
Although attendees getting past the Garda presence to get into the gig is reported by Evoke to have ‘annoyed’ many of those present, the filled 1500 capacity hall was electrified with Burna Boy’s energetic performance and the Burna Boy concert has been described by those who were at the show as the best show ever in town in years and is nothing like what they have ever seen this year.
Onyinye, a student of Trinity College Dublin, tells XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE’s reporter her experience with so much excitement: “The Burna Boy concert was undoubtedly the best concert I have been to this year. The atmosphere that Burna Boy created while performing definitely set a high standard for any Afrobeat artist coming to Ireland in the future. He filled the venue with so much energy, I’m so happy I got the opportunity to watch him perform.”
Tara Stewart, writing on her Instagram page, echoes similar sentiment: “Burna Boy was incredible. The vibes were so good inside.”
Photo Credits: Sean Leslie – Music Photographer
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