BUSINESSES in Dublin city centre last night begged for more protection as yet another gang of young thugs went on the rampage.
Three people are being held on suspicion of violent disorder and one hospitality worker was ­hospitalised after gougers flung glass bottles during the latest shameful scenes to hit South ­William Street.
The incident happened on South William Street
Diners were shocked by the incident
Gardai disperse crowds in Temple Bar
Rubbish left on South William StreetCredit: Twitter: @KarlPurdy,
Four males were reported to be throwing glass bottles at restaurant staff on Thursday evening.
And the mayhem escalated as the workers rushed out to fend off the thugs with wooden chairs which were previously flung at them.
Gardai are hunting a fourth ­person a teenager in connection with the attack.
The capitals streets were busy with outdoor diners who looked on in shock as the thugs continued to rain bottles down on the workers.
For fed-up business owners in what was a pre-pandemic jewel in the inner citys crown lashed out at Dublin City Council for failing to protect them or plan for reopening.
And Dave Lawlor and Edel ­Kirwan, from Corrs Jewellers in the Powerscourt Centre, say people dont want to come and shop in the area as a result of the drunken scenes and the fact that people are mainly in that area now to booze.
Edel said: You cant get up or down the Powerscourt steps. Our goldsmith is an elderly man and most Saturdays he has to enter the back way.
Dave added: Its a constant battle between consumers and businesses and what Dublin City Council and the Government are doing. Businesses get put on the back foot and we suffer the consequences of the actions on South William Street.
Mary Whelan, who owns Irish craft and design shop Eirlooms on nearby Lower Stephen Street, said re-opening her shop following ­lockdown was a dream come true.
She is also part of the Dublin Can be Heaven group, which was set up to put pressure on the council to manage the capital in a way that businesses and visitors can thrive.
Mary said: The anticipation was like no other, Im part of a group of about 70 business owners here and we were all getting ready to reopen, there was such a great buzz. We all love being in our businesses, talking to people, meeting people.
But the anti-social madness soon soured that dream.She said: When we look at the way the city has been managed, the people who are responsible for that have underwhelmed us.
They should of had the proper infrastructure from the beginning, they had long enough to plan.
And Mary said before outdoor ­dining recommenced and extra loos were installed, the street her firm is on was like an outdoor urinal.
She said: A number of us had to close early a few weekends.I know some of my colleagues who asked crowds to move off the ledges outside their shops and they got abuse for that.
One jeweller had his window smashed and was attacked by a group when they went out. It was mayhem for a while but since the outdoor seating began again it has changed.
Two men in their 20s and a male teenager were arrested on Thursday night following the latest South ­William Street disturbance.
The shocking incident took place after cops met with the Licence Vintners Association to discuss their concerns over Garda resources in the city centre.
Gardai arrived at the scene within minutes before making three arrests.They have identified the fourth suspect but have been unable to locate him.
Its understood the suspects are all from the north Dublin area.
A source said: This was a brutal attack on people trying to earn a living. There were shocking levels of violence involved and thankfully no one was seriously injured.
We also understand the CEO of the Dublin Town initiative, Richard Guiney, will write to the Department of Justice in an attempt to secure more policing resources for the city centre.
And the Association of Garda ­Sergeants and Inspectors have also expressed concern over the lack of resources in the Gardais South ­Central Division.
At present, Operation Pier is also ongoing in the area and has led to a number of drugs seizures and also people being arrested for other ­serious offences.
But a source told the Irish Sun: Resources are certainly stretched at the moment and gardai could be left without adequate cover at certain times because their colleagues could be at court.
Local businesses had seen the ­violence and anti-social behaviour quieten down in recent weeks ­following a flurry of incidents over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Nineteen people were arrested and three people were hurt on Saturday June 5th, which was a second night of Bank Hol madness in the area.
Garda public order units were deployed across the city as large groups of people were forced from Dawson Street, Grafton Street, South William Street, St Stephens Green, and the Temple Bar area.
Officers came under fire from ­bottles and other missiles at various locations. They also reported some incidents of criminal damage, including a bin being set on fire on South William Street and a garda patrol car being damaged.
Linda Li and her husband Martin work in antique shop Monte Cristo, in the Powerscourt Centre. Linda said that business has been slow in light of the commotion on the street.
Their shop used to stay open late on Thursdays, but this has stopped as people are solely in town to drink and there is no point.
She said: The good thing was that during the week the drinking didnt start until later in the day, so we werent overly affected. But on the weekends I found it a little bit scary as I had to walk through crowds of drinkers to get to work.
For Fiona Barnes, from accessory shop Costelloe & Costelloe, Covid got rid of everything they dealt with.
She explained: We catered for weddings, races, events and the­ Government put a stop to that.
We had to get creative and go online which allowed us to reach more customers. When we did open, we had a lot of loyal customers coming back to us which was great.
Reopening has been as good as we could have hoped.But her business has suffered with outdoor drinking as it keeps many of her customers from coming into town. She said: I think there needs to be a clearer message. You have councillors saying one thing and Dublin City Council doing another.
There has been a huge emphasis on outdoor hospitality getting back on their feet, which we dont begrudge them for, but we also want to be heard.
Fiona, whose firm is on Chatham St, said there are people who still drink outside smaller shops.
She added: I think weve become accustomed to the culture of takeaway pints and were slightly luckier that we arent directly on South William Street, and from talking to retailers there their heads were wrecked, but it was still chaos.
When people see the scenes of the outdoor commotion they steer clear of the city, especially older customers, which is so detrimental to us. At the end of the day, were nothing without our customers.
And Joe Sousa, from The Brazilian Dresser on Drury Street, says Dublin is now just made for drinking.
He said: A few weeks ago I couldnt get out of the shop, I had to continually ask people to move from the entrance which was fine but it can be messy.
It has improved now with outdoor dining open but before it was a mess. I had to close it a few times because the streets were too busy with drinkers and no one could get past.
Fiona Barnes from the Costello and Costello shop in Dublin 2Credit: Garrett White – The Sun
Linda Li of Montecristo shop in Powerscourt Townhouse in Dublin cityCredit: Garrett White – The Sun
Edel Kirwan of Corrs jewellery in Powerscourt Centre in DublinCredit: Garrett White – The Sun
Temple Bar Company CEO Martin Harte praised the role of Operation Pier in the heart of Dublin.
He yesterday added: Its essential that its maintained to preserve law and order in the city centre.
Gardai urged anyone with information on Thursdays incident to come forward.

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