Many annoyed by Grafton Street crowds singing during lockdown

During the second national lockdown in Ireland, a video was leaked showing a large group of people singing and dancing together on Grafton Street. This was an act completely against the government restrictions at that time and caused uproar on social media. Andrew Blair White looked into the reaction to the controversial video online and the different attitudes towards the behaviour.

Photo taken by Dermot O’Flaherty. Sourced from Flickr.

The video itself was posted by Rafal Kostrzewa, and depicted people singing along to the classic song ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ on Grafton Street. Kostrzewa is a headshot photographer living in Dublin. It subsequently gained 155 thousand views on Twitter – provoking a lot of different reactions on the video. Some saw the video as lighthearted and potentially a good thing, seeing people socialising with each other and singing along. However, given the circumstances that the country is currently in, the video was seen as being an irresponsible act from those involved. Some of the reactions from the video can be seen below.

The video caught the attention of many different people on Twitter – with many not impressed that this was allowed to take place on a street as prominent as Grafton Street in the centre of Dublin. Two weeks previous, a video was put out on Twitter from a bar in South William Street, where people were found to have broken lockdown rules by cramming into a small bar – with no social distancing measures in place to stop them. Considering this is a national lockdown some called for “the guards to intervene” and others said “something has to be done to stop all of this”.

The City spoke to Lucy O’Connor, who was passing by during the video, about what she thought about the matter. She said: “It wasn’t a great look for Dublin – overall the singing of songs is something that should be happening at this time of year, coming up to Christmas. However, many – including myself, have vulnerable people in our families at home. To see this sort of action taking place is irresponsible from those involved but more so, disappointing. An awful lot of people have been abiding by the rules of the lockdown begrudgingly – so you feel a little betrayed to see others not do so.”

O’Connor raises a valid point – with this sort of action not being reprimanded by the police or government, it would not stop other people from doing the same. It was O’Connor’s belief that “there should not be one rule for us and a completely different set of rules for these people. You either allow it or you don’t.” Some took to Twitter looking for the necessary reprimands to be made – with some sighting some bad language to explain their annoyance.

Others were disappointed with the video itself being taken. One man thought the video was not useful in any way and actually ‘spreading more fear and anger into the world’. Another man explained in annoyance by commenting ‘and we wonder why the numbers are not dropping!’ The overall look of the video did not go down too well – however some saw the lighter side of it. People praised the video for showing people having some fun and getting into the Christmas spirit. 

The City tried to get in touch with Rafal Kostrzewa, the man behind the video. However, he did not want to comment on the video he had taken. 

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