Concert promoters MCD did not have appropriate security measures in place at a Phoenix Park gig marred by violence and tragedy, a damning report found.
Nine people were stabbed and 30 arrested at a Swedish House Mafia gig last month, sparking Justice Minister Alan Shatter to order a review.
Tragedy also struck when three men died of suspected drug overdoses at the day long event on July 7.
Garda commissioner Martin Callinan criticised MCD for picking the city centre venue for an “electric music” event, which he claimed attracted revellers who did not have a ticket.
He said stewards were responsible for searching bags and checking patrons with hand held metal detectors and a pat-down, but the high volume of incidents at the entrance and around perimeter fencing showed MCD did not have appropriate security for the type of crowd.
Gardai also had limited access to CCTV operations and an event control centre was not fit for purpose, he found.
He called on MCD to review its policy on searching revellers and on taking alcohol off young patrons – many arrive at gigs with take-out and cause trouble when it’s seized.
“There are a number of lessons to be learned by all agencies in respect of the staging of large outdoor concerts in the Phoenix Park,” he added.
Mr Shatter said the incidents at the concert were shocking and a comprehensive review was essential. He published a covering letter from the commissioner, but not the full report as it contained extensive operational detail.
“I greatly appreciate the thoroughness and speed with which this has been carried out by the garda commissioner and welcome his frank and specific conclusions as to the lessons to be learned for the future planning and management of such events,” he said.
“These include issues with respect to risk assessment, venue and the implementation of effective security and safety measures.
“I fully support An Garda Siochana in the actions they propose to prevent a recurrence of the incidents which arose at this concert and, in particular, their determination that everyone lives up to their responsibilities in this regard.”
The garda commissioner said other gigs that week – the Stone Roses on July 5 and Florence and The Machine and Snow Patrol on July 8 – had attracted a different cohort of patrons and passed off, from a policing perspective, as predicted during the planning stages for these events.
“The concert on the Saturday night however didn’t have such a predictable outcome,” he added.
“In that context the review conducted by An Garda Siochana has highlighted a number of matters that need to be addressed in future planning of large outdoor concerts of similar nature.”
Elsewhere the report said security staff were unclear on MCD’s policies on dealing with incidents of drug abuse or drug dealing or on checking concert-goers for ID. It also raised concerns that temporary wooden signage could have been used as weapons, and over the lack of access for prison vans to the venue to transport prisoners away.
“It is now clear that had An Garda Siochana been fully briefed on the likely conduct of the patrons associated with the Swedish House Mafia concert a separate (third) public order unit would have been employed within the concert venue,” the garda commissioner added.
MCD managing director Denis Desmond said he was disappointed the Garda commissioner made his comments without any notice or consultation with the company.
“This was despite agreement with the Garda commissioner’s office on July 10, 2012 that further review meetings would be held between both parties prior to the publication of any Garda or MCD reviews,” he said.
Mr Desmond also called for a full independent public inquiry into the events at Phoenix Park. He insisted the organisation would continue to conduct a “full and comprehensive” review and will publish its own report in due course.