Crowd control at Aviva Stadium last Sat,& Joe.Duffy

The Field Marshal

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OP amended 6/10/10.

The problems alluded to in the following posts are mostly based on single point observations of a one off event.
Many posters knowledge,including my own,of the overall complexity of this stadium is not comprehensive.
Readers should bear this in mind

Having reviewed the overall content of the thread to date I am satisfied that all technical issues/concerns raised on the thread can be resolved satisfactorily and without difficulty.

Also I am satisfied soley on the basis of this thread that the provision of exits from this building is adequate & safe.

There is an issue with crowd control related to how movements of people in one part of the stadium is managed.


OP [original]

A caller to the show complained about serious potential danger during the exits of 50,000 people after the match.
There were complaints of people allegedly being stuck in a tunnel for up to 40 minutes.
This is serious stuff.

There is new pedestrian rail underpass single tunnel beneath the road/ rail gates at Landsdowne rd adjacent to the Dart station

My recollection is that it is narrow perhaps 3metres to 5 metres wide.



The penultimate match I was at in Landsdown rd the railway gates were opened to accommodate the vast hordes of people going toward ballsbridge area.after match.


[I expect there is a a 13 metre ope[40 feet] when both gates are open and there was never a problem.]

Is it possible that excess numbers of people tried to funnel their way into this narrow railway underpass because the overhead rail gates were closed?


These gates were definitely closed full time prior to the match last Saturday. I saw them closed and was forced to use this dingy narrow underpass myself.

In all probability they remained closed full time after the match.

Its not so important prior to a match when people are arriving in small isolated groups at different time intervals.

But after a match everybody leaves at the same time more or less.
Post crowd control is therefor far more demanding on the authorities.

Were too many people compelled to use an unsuitable underground tunnel because the personnel responsible did not want to open the railway gates?

Is there some new crackpot policy that the railway gates must remain closed after a major football match?

There are questions to answer on this one.

Anybody else have a view on this?
 
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consultant

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I already posted this over on the Magners League Thread in Off Topics:

I had parked in the Pembroke Wanderers' ground (great, well marshelled parking facility and value at €8.00) so came out of the ground adjacent to the Elvery's shop. Then went over and up along the Dodder beside the Marian College before turning left along by the tracks to Sydney Parade.

The lighting was extremely poor and the crush near the tunnel beneath the railway tracks (at Lansdowne station) was not pleasant. I would hate to have been responsible for a child. As it was, I had travelled with two adults and we did become separated at that point.

I have been going to Lansdowne Road to rugby games since the 70's and have never experienced the exit problems that were apparent at the inter-provinces game and now this. There definitely is a serious risk of injury or fatality in the wrong circumstances if this is not sorted.

I don't understand how, with larger crowds in the old stadium, the current problems were just not there.

Your comment re the railway gates explains my final point.
 

Biffomania

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A caller to the show complained about serious potential danger during the exits of 50,000 people after the match.
There were complaints of people being stuck in a tunnel for up to 40 minutes.
This is serious stuff.

There is new pedestrian rail underpass tunnel beneath the road/ rail gates at Landsdowne rd

It is very narrow perhaps 3metres [10 feet] wide.

It is clearly the tunnel the caller was referring to.

The last match I was at in Landsdown rd the railway gates were opened to accommodate the vast hordes of people going toward ballsbridge area.after match.

These gates were definitely closed full time prior to the match last Saturday. I saw them closed.

[I expect there is a a 15 metre ope[50 feet] when both gates are open and there was never a problem.]

To try and funnel thousands of people into this narrow railway underpass whilst keeping the overhead rail gates closed would be criminal negligence.


Anybody else have a view on this
Criminal behaviour by security.

Was there with 3 young kids, (approximately 5/6 years old).

Getting in was a nightmare, we were Turnstile C - huge crowds blocking road queing. No people at the other Turnstiles, asked if I could enter with kids through these turnstiles whcih were all open for business but had absolutely nobody queueing at them. Was advised Security had to abide by the system - which seemingly was that thousands had to queue at the three C Turnstiles, blocking the road completely while all the other turnstiles were open for businessbut wouldn't let the public through.

After the game was as near as I've been to people & children being crushed to death. I was backed up against an emergency gate with the three kids - with huge crowds pusing back against us - I pleaded with a dumb Security f****r to open the gate to reduce the crush, he refused, said it was for "emergency purposes only", it was only when several other parents and myself threatened to climb the gate and kill him that he finally opened the gate. With the help of two complete strangers we ran for our lives with the 3 kids with a "tsunami" of people flooding through the open gate.

To say the least I'm seriously p*ssed off with the IRFU and especially with the Security company - some of them are total morons and can't appreciate when a potential life or death situation is building up at a scary speed.
 

The Field Marshal

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I already posted this over on the Magners League Thread in Off Topics:




Your comment re the railway gates explains my final point.
Thank you consultant.

It is now clear that the road railway exit of approx [40ft] 13 metres width which traditionally was used to permit the outflow of the majority of 50,000 spectators from Landsdowne is now being kept shut.
Has this system of exiting been replaced by an underpass system which may be causing problems?
 
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johnfás

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To say the least I'm seriously p*ssed off with the IRFU and especially with the Security company - some of them are total morons and can't appreciate when a potential life or death situation is building up at a scary speed.
There is significant tension between the Honorary IRFU Stewards - who have been running the show at Lansdowne forever and who continue to have a depleted role at the Aviva Stadium - and the new management of the Aviva Stadium which is a fulltime operation and which employs its own staff many of whom do not have experience of stewarding major sporting events. There has been complaints from traditional IRFU Stewards about various situations and there have been meetings regarding those complaints - it is still not working though. The major problem as I see it is the group of people who are taking the lead role (less experienced) whereas the experienced stewards have been forced into a secondary role.
 

johnfás

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It is now clear that the road railway exit of approx [40ft] 13 metres width which traditionally was used to permit the outflow of the majority of 50,000 spectators from Landsdowne is now being kept shut in favour of a narrow underpass of 3 metres width.
The major problem is that management wants the spectators to disperse roughly in the manner that they entered (via the routes printed on the tickets). That isn't going to work though as people want to go to pubs and to see friends who are all in roughly the same direction.

Opening and closing the railway gates, as was previously the policy, wasn't particularly safe either as it caused a stutter in crowd flow unlike the new way which is meant to create a continuous flow. There is also meant to be an increased Dart capacity which gets people out of the area more efficiently. It isn't working though because as I said above, people legitimately do not want to leave the way the stadium management wants them to. It wasn't helped on Saturday by a load of security guards causing a massive cordon from time to time on Lansdowne Road either.
 

The Field Marshal

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There is significant tension between the Honorary IRFU Stewards - who have been running the show at Lansdowne forever and who continue to have a depleted role at the Aviva Stadium - and the new management of the Aviva Stadium which is a fulltime operation and which employs its own staff many of whom do not have experience of stewarding major sporting events. There has been complaints from traditional IRFU Stewards about various situations and there have been meetings regarding those complaints - it is still not working though. The major problem as I see it is the group of people who are taking the lead role (less experienced) whereas the experienced stewards have been forced into a secondary role.
Whose decision was it to keep the railway gates closed after the match?

This is what probablyexacerbated the problems.

Both Gardai,Aviva and iarnroad Eireann have a role in all this.

Have any breachs of health & safety or building regulations
occurred.?

It is dismal and disgraceful that a new state of the art building should pose potential threats to public safety & problems of this nature.
 
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Iarmhi Gael

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Criminal behaviour by security.

Was there with 3 young kids, (approximately 5/6 years old).

Getting in was a nightmare, we were Turnstile C - huge crowds blocking road queing. No people at the other Turnstiles, asked if I could enter with kids through these turnstiles whcih were all open for business but had absolutely nobody queueing at them. Was advised Security had to abide by the system - which seemingly was that thousands had to queue at the three C Turnstiles, blocking the road completely while all the other turnstiles were open for businessbut wouldn't let the public through.

After the game was as near as I've been to people & children being crushed to death. I was backed up against an emergency gate with the three kids - with huge crowds pusing back against us - I pleaded with a dumb Security f****r to open the gate to reduce the crush, he refused, said it was for "emergency purposes only", it was only when several other parents and myself threatened to climb the gate and kill him that he finally opened the gate. With the help of two complete strangers we ran for our lives with the 3 kids with a "tsunami" of people flooding through the open gate.

To say the least I'm seriously p*ssed off with the IRFU and especially with the Security company - some of them are total morons and can't appreciate when a potential life or death situation is building up at a scary speed.

Common sense goes out the window at times like this.

Sounds like a nightmare for you and the kids
 

White Horse

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After the game was as near as I've been to people & children being crushed to death. I was backed up against an emergency gate with the three kids - with huge crowds pusing back against us - I pleaded with a dumb Security f****r to open the gate to reduce the crush, he refused, said it was for "emergency purposes only", it was only when several other parents and myself threatened to climb the gate and kill him that he finally opened the gate. With the help of two complete strangers we ran for our lives with the 3 kids with a "tsunami" of people flooding through the open gate.

To say the least I'm seriously p*ssed off with the IRFU and especially with the Security company - some of them are total morons and can't appreciate when a potential life or death situation is building up at a scary speed.
A couple of families who went said "never gain" to me.

The huge level of drunkeness coupled with the Hillsborough like organisation is a recipe for disaster.

I was planning on going to the Russia game. I'm not sure now.
 

Holy Hand Grenade

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The lessons of Hillsborough have still to be learned over here, it seems.
 

The Field Marshal

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The major problem is that management wants the spectators to disperse roughly in the manner that they entered (via the routes printed on the tickets). That isn't going to work though as people want to go to pubs and to see friends who are all in roughly the same direction.

Opening and closing the railway gates, as was previously the policy, wasn't particularly safe either as it caused a stutter in crowd flow unlike the new way which is meant to create a continuous flow. It isn't working though because as I said above, people legitimately do not want to leave the way the stadium management wants them to. It wasn't helped on Saturday by a load of security guards causing a massive cordon from time to time on Lansdowne Road either.


Traditionaly apres match the bulk of the crowds crossed the road rail crossing to head for the ballsbridge area where the pubs/hotels mostly are.

Now large numbers have to go underground.

The tunnel I was in could only take
maybe 4 to 5 people abreast maximum.
As a method of egress for large numbers it was not suitable.

Indeed after the match ended hundreds of these so called security personnel goosestepped around the pitch perimeter in the most aggressive manner possible and surrounded it completely and then turned as if on Hitlerian command to face the spectators.

They had an attitude that a serious pitch invasion was about to occur.

Finaly in the stadium itself deliberate attempts are made by the public address system to deafen spectators prior to match.
As in croke park there is some very powerful loudpeakers systems.

There is very serious noise pollution and the decibel levels will cause hearing loss.
You certainly cannot have a conversation with your friends amidst the mad crappy cacaphony.
Like the GAA yobs in Croke Park its now de rigeur to try drown out and deafen spectators prior to and at mid point of the game.
IRFU are making the same yob mistakes.

They are all clearly badly trained and this just shows you more incompetence .
 
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smitchy2

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Sounds a complete mess on Saturday.

To say the old stadium was perfect is not true though.
I was caught up in queues up to half an hour after international matches before the Dart line.

It is very serious that there are these problems because enough was spent on the planning of this stadium to avoid the bottlenecks of the old stadium.
 

Biffomania

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Common sense goes out the window at times like this.

Sounds like a nightmare for you and the kids
When you've no option but to ask two total strangers - unknown to each other and to me - to hold onto two 5/6 year old kids who have been entrusted to you and where the three of us had to run with the 3 kids, and keeping shouting at each other for God's sake not to fall, you know you're in serious danger of harm coming to the kids - and maybe yourself.

I'm a rugby fanaticbut until the IRFU makes a public statement that it has revised its safety rules - and more importantly - that its Security staff have passed some kind of basic safety or IQ test I'n never again bring children or even teenagers. Come to think of it, I don't think I'd go myself. I still honestly believe it it hadn't been for those two guys, and the other parents along with myself who threatened to tear the Security guy at the locked gate, forcing him to open it, that there would have been many serious injuries, even deaths.
 

ballot stuffer

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I was there in the south stand on Saturday. I held off leaving my seat for 10 minutes after the match while I waited for a friend.

When I exited via the underpass to Lansdowne road it was clear there was a crowd control problem. Nothing was moving on the other side of the dart line and it was clear later some people were directed by stewards and gardai back towards the stadium to access the dart. Nothing moved for 10+ minutes (I arrived there later than everyone and was at the back) and people continued to join the stationary crowd from the underpass. It was getting pretty packed.
Some people were scaling the wall of the property adjacent to the underpass to get out quicker. From where I was I could see all the signs of a dangerous situation and not a steward in sight.
Lansdowne road better get the thumb out and sort this dangerous situation out for the next match. This was one of the first almost full capacity games.
 

edor

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Absolute madness - I was there. There were people climbing over spiked railings into private gardens to escape the overcrowding. Stewards were idly chatting to gardai as if it wasn't happening. After 20 or so minutes one steward stated that there must be a blockage ahead and he would check out what it was. He was lucky not to have lost his head his comment was so stupid. He was heckled a lot.

Having read some other forums, it appears that in their wisdon, Iarnrod Eireann also contributed to this by closing the Grand Canal station after the match on Barrow street causing further traffic down Landsdown Road. Morons the lot of them.

There was one person in a wheelchair in front of me also in the crowd. There were a lot of wheelchairs in that part of the stadium, and stewards forced every one of us out one set of doors into the impending madness.

To me it seems like a work to rule type situation. Everything questioned was 'management says no'. All they were interested it seems was ensuring there were no umbrellas brought into the game which the enforced at the start. After the game it was every man for himself. Apparantly one steward advised that the Gardai would not let hi into the tunnel to direct traffic. I tell you if there are injuries or death on Friday charges need to be brought.
 

The Field Marshal

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The lessons of Hillsborough have still to be learned over here, it seems.
Thats what so frightening.
Danger to life.

Serious possibility of hearing damage too.
I noticed severall people had to protect their ears due to the screaming DJ and his crapadocious music.

You will not enjoy the "AVIVA" experience as it is currently operated.

If you watch the match you may emerge completely deaf in both ears to face possible crushing .
 
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johnfás

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I'm a rugby fanaticbut until the IRFU makes a public statement that it has revised its safety rules - and more importantly - that its Security staff have passed some kind of basic safety or IQ test I'n never again bring children or even teenagers. Come to think of it, I don't think I'd go myself. I still honestly believe it it hadn't been for those two guys, and the other parents along with myself who threatened to tear the Security guy at the locked gate, forcing him to open it, that there would have been many serious injuries, even deaths.
All the Honorary IRFU Stewards have received accredited training and have many years experience. I cannot comment one way or the other on the training received by the new regime, who now form the bulk of the flourescent jackets you see at Aviva. The new Aviva staff wear blue ties, whereas the IRFU ones will generally have a green tie and are volunteers, but have been doing it a very long time and used to run the show at the old Lansdowne and also at Croke Park alongside Honorary GAA Stewards.
 

Iarmhi Gael

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that its Security staff have passed some kind of basic safety or IQ test I'n never again bring children or even teenagers. .
The idea of a security man in a situation where he is in control of a problem and has an immediate solution to just say "Sorry - Emergency only" is pathetic. Common sense should make someone see there is a serious problem.

Even withstanding that - The gate should be open after a game to allow quick flow of people. Same with your entrance.

Do you mind me asking where the gate led to after it was open?
 

enby

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I was there and the utter lack of organisation and control was appalling. However it wasn't the case that people were stuck in the underpass, they were stuck on Lansdowne Rd itself. In the old ground all spectators were funnelled inside the ground to one or two exit gates so that the crowd all went in one direction. Under the utterly insane arrangements in place last Saturday, spectators, regardless of their destination, had to leave through a number of preordained exits causing 2 crowds containing vast numbers of people to end up walking against eachother in opposite directions.

We were in in the west upper stand and wanted to get to Lansdowne Dart station. Rather than have an internal route to a gate exiting at the station, the organisers decided to send us up a lane on to Shelbourne Rd so we had to walk against the crowd coming from the east and south stands both on Shelbourne and Lansdowne Roads. Not a steward or a barrier or a sign to be seen nor a PA to be heard. It was a dangerous chaotic situation culminating in a crush on Lansdowne Rd near but not in the underpass.

That all followed a crazy situation when they turned off the internal lighting and flood lights as spectators were leaving their seats causing them to negotiate steep steps in semi darkness.

I'd hate to think what will happen if two sets of soccer fans are allowed to spill out on the streets at the Europa League Final
 

Q-Tours

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I was there on Sat with wife & kids on East Stand. It was very poorly managed. I should have just sat down for 30 min until the numbers died down.

How the hell would they handle an evacuation if something serious happened? The stairs down looked (to my very inexpert eye) like an invitation for a crush if people panicked. The situation with the DART gates is just ludicrous.

An interim solution would be to require people leaving teh East Stand to walk down Herbert Road, i.e. away from Ballsbridge. It would be bloody unpopular but it would prevent the scenes we had on Sat.
 


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