Following recent reports in this newspaper of severe cases of underage drinking in Bundoran on St. Patrick’s weekend, a Bundoran Town Councillor said that regrettably this was not an isolated incident and that it was a frequent feature of Friday nights in the resort.
Cllr. Michael McMahon said that he was present on the evening and that it was a very scary scene.
“These were very underage children, an accident waiting to happen. Fortunately, nobody was killed but we shouldn’t try and and ignore a situation that gives us negative headlines in the local press.”
Cllr. Sean McEniff added that over the 12th. weekend last year he was walking down the same area in the vicinity of Waterworld and encountered up on 40 kids blatantly drinking in public.
“I called the Gardai and demanded that they come down and they did.
“What we need in this town is a certain amount of civic spirit - anybody who sees signs - kids going into pubs or off licences.”
Cllr. Dermot Doherty said, “It is time to call this as it is. This happens every Friday night - the only night this year that it didn’t was last Friday which was Good Friday when all the pubs were closed.
“The debris left behind is mainly empty naggins of a rather unusual brand of cheap vodka which is stocked in very few places.
“Unfortunately there are irresponsible publicans and it would be quite easy to identify the source.
“We must go after the source and take action to stop it. People are under the illusion that this drink is being brought in - some of it might be but the majority of empty bottles indicate that it was sourced locally.”
Cllr. Denise Connolly added, “Parents have a responsibility - people have to start speaking out. If it is one brand of vodka we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of this.
“We do have irresponsible publicans - if you see young people carrying alcohol on the street or going into these places, that’s the time to ring the Gardai.
“If people really want to address this problem they should do something positive about it rather than sensationalising it in the papers. That just sells newspapers.”
The Chairman of the Council Phillip McGlynn said that as active members of the council they had to share the responsibility.
“We have a Joint Policing Committee and as councillors we will have to take the flak for not attending all these meetings. We have four meetings per year and they are poorly attended, so the onus is on the members to show they are serious
“There is no point in hiding from the problem and pretending that it does not exist - we must now address it and do everything in our power to solve it.”