Portobello Plaza will remain open and will not close for the weekend after it was fenced off by Dublin City Council for several weekends due to antisocial behaviour and large crowds congregating in the area.
The plaza, which was closed for the weekends on May 14th, was a spot for socialising both before and after the pandemic especially in a scenario where there was good weather.
A spokesperson for Dublin City Council stated that the plaza reopened for the weekend and that no further closures have been panned at this current time. The spokesperson added that the closure was always meant to be a temporary measure and was communicated as such while describing it as a circuit breaker.
The closure came about when local Portobello residents had contacted Dublin City Council to express concern over scenes near the canal, particularly during sunny weather.
One woman complained about noise pollution in the area, stating that she had to wear earplugs over a weekend during the night but could still hear screaming and shouting. She added, “From about Thursday to Sunday we see people urinating across the street multiple times a day, we see people getting arrested,we have people trying to offer us money to use our bathroom, we see and hear fights escalating”. The woman stated that these events are tolerable when they happen the odd time but not every weekend.
Other residents complained about the lack of action that was taken in response to the antisocial behaviour, as well as people urinating in public, dealing drugs, fighting, drinking, smashing bottles and spraying graffiti.
Following scenes of disorder that were witnessed over the weekend in Dublin city centre where gardaí made multiple arrests for public order offences, it is hoped that the reopening of the plaza during the weekends will help reduce the antisocial behaviour in the city centre as it gives more choice to people for locations to socialise in.
Earlier this week, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan called for a more thought-through approach in regards to dealing with said antisocial incidents and had called for the government to open up more public spaces so that one area does not become the main focus of where people are hanging out.