Concerns at large gatherings of youths close to basketball arena

By Aimee Walsh

LARGE gatherings of youths at The National Basketball Arena on weekends has been an issue of concern for local Councillors and residents.

Groups of young people have been reportedly gathering at The National Basketball arena in Tallaght on weekend nights, breaking the current Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.

Tymon Basketball 15 1

There have been reports of large gatherings close to the Basketball Arena.

Councillor for Tallaght Central Mick Duff said this has been ongoing and is an issue of grave concern.

“They are constantly down here at the arena. Last weekend the Gardai were here in force dispersing a very large group of young people from the arena road. I am told that these young people are coming from all over Tallaght.

“They are coming down on the bus and meeting up with other young people here. You can see them getting off the buses with bags of drink.”

According to Cllr Duff, an incident occurred last weekend when Gardai dispersed one of these large gatherings.

“It is completely and totally in breach of Covid restrictions. They head over through the arena gates. Last weekend Tallaght Gardai had to come down in force to disperse them, and it ended up then with them being chased through the estates.

“It was substantial to break this up. It has been going on for some time now. I think the Gardai have enough on their plate during covid, it’s just wasting their time doing this but it is necessary.”

Tymon Basketball 16 1

Pictured is the entrance to Tymon Park at the Basketball Arena

Cllr Duff said he is among multiple Councillors that have requested South Dublin County Council to close the main gates to the arena road, as well as the pedestrian gates to prevent these dangerous gatherings from taking place.

“There is an access point at Brookmount and you can come out at Balrothery, so I wouldn’t think it to be of grave inconvenience to anyone that was going about legitimate business. It would be some small measure that would help stop these large gatherings.

“These young people do not see the risks of what they are doing at all, it’s risky behaviour. It is endangering their own families when they go back home after being out with no social distancing and being in close contact with people. They are going back to homes with varying degrees of risk. We need to take sterner measures.”

South Dublin County Council were contacted for a response, but it was not received in time for print.

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