‘We can’t tell people not to gather’ — Mayor Hazel Chu defends those who gathered in city centre over the weekend
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu has spoken out in defence of those who gathered in crowds in Dublin City Centre over the weekend.
Videos and photos of large numbers congregating in St Stephen’s Green and South William Street, Dublin on Saturday and Sunday sparked outrage across Ireland, and a furious message from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
Hazel Chu noted, however, that after marketing an ‘outdoor summer’ to the people of Ireland after an exceptionally long Level 5 lockdown, outdoor gatherings in public spaces should have been expected.© Provided by Extra.ie Videos and photos of large numbers congregating in St Stephen’s Green and South William Street, Dublin on Saturday and Sunday sparked outrage across Ireland
Speaking to Morning Ireland on Monday morning, the Lord Mayor said that although people need to take ‘personal responsibility’ to social distance and clear their rubbish, ‘we can’t tell people not to gather.’
She continued: ‘The reason for that is we’ve been advertising for an outdoor summer for quite a while. We’ve been telling people “listen, you’re going to be able to enjoy your summer, you’re going to be able to be outside”.
‘And for a lot of people, they don’t have front or back gardens to be outside in. They can’t invite their friends over when they don’t have that space, and we need to provide that space.’© Provided by Extra.ie Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu has spoken out in defence of those who gathered in crowds in Dublin City Centre over the weekend. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Asked what the council have been doing to prepare for these crowds over the summer, Hazel Chu said that there has been an increase in street furniture and rubbish collection, but ‘it still needs more’.
With a bank holiday weekend ahead, the Lord Mayor conceded ‘we should have been ready before then,’ pledging that the issue would be bought up this week to the City Recovery Task Force.
Across Twitter, both sides of the debate have been equally matched, as many sided with Lord Mayor Hazel Chu, calling for more outdoor facilities to be put in place to accommodate for the outdoor summer Ireland was promised. © Provided by Extra.ie Crowds flouting COVID regulations on South William Street on Saturday night.
However, others were siding with CMO Dr Tony Holohan, advocating for individuals to take more personal responsibility