News 08/29/ - Drugs Police Drafted in for Top Rock Concert (fwd)

Elizabeth Platt ([email protected])
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 01:09:56 -0700 (PDT)

[Pulled this story off one of my Internet news lists--no _explicit_ U2
content, but I thought the bit of news at the end might be of interest to
U2 fans, given how difficult it was for the band to set up a concert in
their hometown. Also, Slane Castle was, of course, where the band
recorded "The Unforgettable Fire"--note that it has now been rebuilt after
being damaged in a fire some years ago. --- eaplatt]

          Drugs Police Drafted In For Top Rock Concert

PA 08/28/98 21:53
Copyright 1998 PA News

  By Chris Parkin, PA News

   Drugs squad officers will be on undercover duty today at a
concert being headlined by The Verve in the grounds of
Ireland's Slane Castle stately home.

   The last of 80,000 tickets for the show have been snapped
up and rock fans without one have been told they will be
turned away at police checkpoints on routes to the Co Meath
venue, 30 miles north of Dublin.

   Superintendent Eamonn Courtney said plain clothes officers
would maintain a surveillance operation for drugs at the open-
air concert, with a total of well over 400 police on duty

   Divers will be on hand to patrol the River Boyne, which
runs through the grounds of the castle, owned by Lord Henry
Mount Charles, and there will be constant helicopter
monitoring of the show.

   Two young people died when they attempted to swim the river
during the last Slane event, featuring REM and Oasis, in 1995.

   A restored section of the castle, devastated by fire seven
years ago, will be opened again for the first time to house
specially-invited guests at a pre-concert reception being
hosted by Lord Henry.

   The show is going ahead after overcoming objections from
people living in Slane. Residents will have access to their
homes, fenced off from the concert, with special passes during
the show.

   The promoters have pledged to remove all signs of the
concert within 24 hours of its end.

   As well as The Verve, the Slane bill will also feature
Robbie Williams and the Manic Street Preachers.

   The show coincides with another pop world occasion in
Ireland tomorrow - a concert featuring the veteran Bee Gees
group in Dublin.

   :: An Irish member of parliament has called for a law
requiring most outdoor pop concerts to get planning permission
to be scrapped. Sean Haughey, of the Fianna Fail main Dublin
government party, said the system was unique in the European
Union and claimed Ireland was losing concerts to the United
Kingdom as a result.


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