VIDEO: Chaos on the Hill of Skryne as 450 people turn up for illegal St Stephen's Night rave

There were scenes of "havoc and mayhem" on the Hill of Skryne on St Stephen’s Night and the early hours of yesterday (Monday) morning as some 450 revellers, mainly from Dublin, descended on the area for an illegal ‘rave’ at Skryne Castle.

Castle owner Derek Iceton of Tara Stud began to receive calls from 9pm on Sunday night from residents of the hill reporting the arrival of streams of taxis to the castle and grounds, and by the time he got to the property, it was heaving with crowds of young teenagers spread out over the three storeys of the centuries old building.

Mr Iceton also reported seeing cylinders of nitrous oxide, as well as canisters of the illicit drug being offered for sale when he entered the property in an attempt to clear the crowds. He was able to cut the power source which meant that the music stopped.

“I fully expect to have Covid after this,” he says. “The walls were dripping with condensation when we finally got the place cleared.”

He had bottles thrown at him while a resident of the nearby apartments in the courtyard was badly assaulted when he came out to see what was happening.

“It is an old building,” Mr Iceton says. “And anything could have happened – it was an extremely dangerous situation, to have hundreds of people who were not fully coherent in a premises with only one main door.”

As he had one group of people cleared, another flow would emerge down a stairs, but most were compliant when asked to leave.

An employee assisted by blocking the gate of the grounds with a vehicle, preventing access to any more taxis, but a very volatile situation then emerged where hundreds of people were now congregated on the Hill of Skryne area as they awaited taxis, with local residents and the local landmark pubs caught up in the aftermath.

Gardai were called to assist, but Mr Iceton feels that they were slow to react to the situation, and that he and his manager were left in a vulnerable situation trying to clear the property, and that the residents and businesses on the hill were also in a precarious situation.

He said most of those attending seemed to be from the northern suburbs of Dublin, Finglas, Blanchardstown and Cabra areas, while he spoke to two girls who had flown from London to hear the DJ.

The interior of the castle is strewn with the remains of drink cans and bottles, and he estimates there will be skipfuls of rubbish to be collected from the castle and grounds, and general area of the hill.

The original castle at Skryne was built sometime between 1172 and 1175 by de Feypo family. It was restored early in the 1800s when the present house was built around the old keep. Its best-known resident in the more recent past was the late historian and founder of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society, Elizabeth Hickey, and the castle has been rented since her death in 1999.

Garda Press Office has been contacted for comment.