The Longitude Festival Bar defends the confiscation of ID cards from people suspected of being minors

The operators of the bar at Dublin’s Longitude Festival have defended their staff for confiscating ID cards from minors who tried to buy alcohol at the event earlier this month.

It comes as people have complained that some ID cards have still not been returned to their original owners.

The three-day music festival was held at Marlay Park from July 1st to 3rd and thousands of music lovers attended each day.

Festival organizers said IDs were confiscated in some cases because they did not belong to the people who used them to buy alcohol.

According to the Longitude website, anyone under the age of 16 had to be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 to attend the event, and “valid ID” was required upon entry.

“Under 18s are not allowed to bring alcohol or buy it on site. A Challenge 21 policy applies to all on-site alcohol sales. It is illegal for a person over the age of 18 to purchase alcohol on behalf of a person under the age of 18,” the website reads.

A caller to RTÉ live line Program called Siobhan said her teenage daughter used her older sister’s passport at the event as she tried to buy “three ciders”.

Siobhan said Lola, 17, showed bar staff her 18-year-old sister Michelle’s passport, which was confiscated and later “destroyed”.

“Friday afternoon she went into the bar and asked for three drinks, three ciders, she showed her passport, it was her sister’s passport and they said no, we don’t believe you. That’s not your passport,’ Siobhan said.

“Well, the lady at the bar said I’ll take your passport from you… Well, she didn’t get anything to drink and her sister’s passport was taken from her.”

Siobhan said when Lola asked how she could get the card back, she was told that “a lot” of cards had been confiscated during the day and the Gardaí would “send them back” in the mail. She said a member of the Gardaí working at the event confirmed it would be returned in the mail when the time came.

As of July 14, the passport had not arrived and Siobhan said her daughter Michelle was concerned because she needed it for a holiday abroad in early August.

After Siobhan contacted Longitude and Gardaí at several stations in south Dublin, Siobhan was emailed this Wednesday that the passport had been returned to the Passport Office.

“I contacted the passport office and they say oh our process is all the passports we get back have been destroyed and you have to apply for an emergency passport or a new passport,” she said.

This was confirmed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA). that all returned passports will be destroyed.

“All passports returned to the passport service will be canceled for security reasons as the integrity of that passport may have been compromised while not in the possession of the person for whom it was issued. Such passports are securely shredded by the passport service,” said a DFA spokesman.

“The Passport Service takes its responsibility to protect the integrity of the Irish passport seriously. The Irish passport has a strong international reputation due to the robust processes involved in its issuance. The Irish passport was recently ranked sixth in the Henley Passport Index for offering our citizens visa-free access to 187 countries.”

Siobhan said she paid 170 euros for the emergency pass and was told it should be ready on August 2, the day her older daughter is due to fly out.

Siobhan said she “doesn’t condone” her younger daughter’s attempt to buy alcohol, but argued that confiscating ID was wrong.

She added: “Nobody has the right to take someone’s passport away. It was very badly organized in Longitude, where the Gardaí said yes, we’ll send them out in a few days, don’t worry. If your passport is confiscated, I’m sure there are other young people out there in this situation, but they don’t know that their passport will be sent back to the passport office and destroyed.”

A second caller said her son’s learner’s license had also been confiscated. She said Gardaí informed them the driver’s license had been returned to the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS), but the NDLS said it had “no record of it”.

The bar at Longitude was operated by Central Fusion – Clondalkin Taverns Limited.

In a statement released to Independent.ieCompany CEO Richard Irwin said: “Bar operator Clondalkin Taverns Limited applied to Dublin Metropolitan District Court for a license to host Longitude Festival 2022 which was granted by Judge Mary Quirke on 18 May 2022.

“As part of the motion, the judge found the licensing requirement to ensure that underage drinking will not occur at the event and that all mitigating procedures must be in place to ensure the event complies with the Intoxicating Spirits Act 1962. The license terms included a robust procedure for all staff on site. This required bar staff to request identification for any member of the public attending the event who appeared to be under the age of 21.

“There have been instances where IDs (including passports and driver’s licenses) have been used by a person not named on the ID. In this case, as required by the Garda, a licensed bar manager requested supporting documentation from the individual in question to establish identity. If the person failed to provide the required supporting documents, the ID card was confiscated. A deposit form was completed by the bar manager and both this form and ID were given to the Garda who was on site.

“At the end of each event the Garda had a reference point where the public could reclaim any confiscated ID if they could confirm they were the rightful holder of the ID. Alternatively, the correct rightful holder of the badge could have requested the badge from Tallaght Garda Station. After the reclaim period for the local Garda station had expired, the ID was returned by the Gardaí to the relevant legal authority (passport office or driver’s license authority).”

Meanwhile, a Garda spokesman said: “A special tent was operated by An Garda Síochána during music events at Marlay Park this summer. Passports not collected from this tent that day have been forwarded to the passport office.” The Longitude Festival Bar defends the confiscation of ID cards from people suspected of being minors

Fry Electronics Team

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