I arrived an hour early to have my tea and get a good parking spot. Fifteen minutes before the concert began I was crossing the road at the junction of St Stephens Green and Leeson Street when I heard emergency sirens wailing.
Three motorcycle gardaí, a shiny black limousine and two other cars were speeding in a bus lane with gardaí waving aside all and sundry.
I thought it might be a surgeon en route to perform a heart transplant, or a woman about to give birth. The leading garda pulled across and stopped the traffic before the ‘cavalcade’ took a left turn into the grounds of the Concert Hall. Four people got out and walked up the steps.
This was unbelievable carry-on. All of Leeson Street and God knows where else forced aside for a group of ‘dignitaries’ going to a concert. Some may say this was in the interests of security, and I have no issue with that, but let me ask this: if it was for security reasons, why did they let a potential attacker know they were coming with their sirens blaring. If security was that important, why was I able to park in the grounds of the Concert Hall, unchallenged, all evening from 7pm.
Sirens should be used in emergencies only, not for a night on the town. What made it even worse was the escort of at least five gardaí. Let the VIPs drive in the bus lane if they wish, but stop wasting garda resources.
Often on my way home from work I see ambulances and fire brigades - without motorcycle gardaí - struggling through traffic on the M50 or queuing at the toll station.
Who escorts the sick or the distressed?