Binge drinking rampant in beauty spots

Concerns about the existence and the frequency of binge drinking and alcohol misuse among minors in one south Donegal Town has prompted one community activist to call a meeting of parents in the town tomorrow evening (Wednesday).

Concerns about the existence and the frequency of binge drinking and alcohol misuse among minors in one south Donegal Town has prompted one community activist to call a meeting of parents in the town tomorrow evening (Wednesday).

The initiative comes on the back of recent concerns being raised within Donegal town and in this newspaper about alcohol misuse among minors particularly in some of the town’s beauty spots.

Following a Tidy Towns clean up in the town which takes place on a weekly basis, it was evident that some of the town’s main beauty attractions were badly littered by the remains of drinking sessions not just on weekends but also on a nightly basis. Gareth Ferry who had his Supevalu team of volunteers out recently with members of the Tidy Towns Committee told this newspaper: “We targeted the Old Abbey which overlooks Donegal Bay - not only is it one of the most scenic areas in the town, it is also of great historical and cultural significance and is a place where people have been laid to rest.

“I couldn’t believe the amount of empty bottles and cans we took out of the place - it is quite obvious that it must be one of the most popular spots in the town for drinking parties.”

Jim McLaughlin, Chairperson of the Donegal Family Resource Centre said, “This is an important initiative and has come at a very timely period.

“There is no point in us trying to sweep our problems under the carpet - it is quite obvious that we have a problem in our community; all one has to do is look at some of the rubbish collected.

“People might say that it happens in every community in the country but that doesn’t mean that we should just sit back and do nothing.

“The cheap availability of alcohol which is being consumed by minors is becoming a problem and unfortunately, the increasing availability of illegal drugs is also a growing concern.”

Tom Conaghan, the Mayor of Donegal Town welcomed this initiative and said, “I have just been involved in a major clean up around the Bank Walk and unfortunately, the story is very much the same.

“Apart from the litter aspect this type of anti-social behaviour is frightening some of the older residents and also puts people off taking this scenic walk.

“People can feel threatened by a group of people indulging in this type of behaviour and people have mentioned to me that they are actually nervous about going around the Bank with this type of behaviour prevalent.”

The one off training will take place in the Donegal Family Resource Centre, Upper Main Street, Donegal Town tomorrow night (Wed) starting at 7.30pm. For further information please contact 074 9725337