Dublin May Be A Great City – But It Was An Absolute Disgrace Last Night
This was like no other Saturday night
Walking around town, you'll see the new billboards advertising Dublin as 'A Breath Of Fresh Air' in a bid to rebrand the city and lure more tourists here.
Although last night you'd have struggled to see them, as the air certainly wasn't fresh, it was acrid with bonfire smoke and the hiss of fireworks.
People all over the city were wrecking the place, setting fires, attacking emergency services, stabbing each other and generally causing mayhem.
The usual excuses of 'a few troublemakers' or 'only a bit of harmless fun' will be trotted out, but this felt like something more, an escalation...
The height and ferocity of this fire was staggering
One of the biggest accelerants for both the fires and the revellers was, predictably, alcohol. We have a habit in this country of taking celebratory days and turning them into mass binges. Look at St Patrick's Day or the now-cancelled Arthur's Day as prime examples.
While the vast majority of revellers are happy to enjoy the fun, there are times when Dublin's streets turn into absolute chaos. Last night was one. Parts of the city resembled war zones at times and the booze only heightened the tensions, incidents and madness as the night went on.
Things were so bad many were injured or indeed lost their lives
Perhaps the most disgusting part of the whole evening was the numerous reports of the emergency services coming under attack, being blocked from doing their job and generally impeded in doing their already incredibly treacherous work.
The brave men and women who were out there doing their best to save lives, property and keep people safe were the very ones who found themselves in the greatest danger.
The emergency services who were already under pressure weren't even able to do their job in peace
The 'harmless fun' brigade will be out in force today, but the fact is there were lives lost last night, people seriously injured, while property was damaged all over.
From the reaction online, you can see people were genuinely scared in their own communities. Were it not for the heroic work of the emergency services, you'd imagine the casualties and damage would have been more severe.
The fires weren't contained to one area either, with hundreds reported citywide
So how do you solve this and stop it growing even bigger next year? Clamping down hard is the answer.
I stood at one bonfire just 100 yards from Kevin Street Garda Station that burned over 50 foot high, as watching children sent rockets into the crowds and the flames licked at the side of houses.
Hundreds watched on, drinking and cheering, but there wasn't a guard in sight.
The riot police were sent in on Saturday to destroy one large bonfire and you need more of the same next year. It needs to be stamped out.
Lighting fires, using fireworks and drinking in public parks are all illegal in Ireland. Put cops on the street and shut everything down before it starts. Lock people up.
I don't want to sound like a party pooper, because the vast majority of Irish people had a great evening yesterday, but the simple fact is the city became too dangerous last night and it'll be worse next year.
You just can't trust us Irish with a big celebration before it all gets out of hand.