Can we stop the madness?
FOLLOWING the scenes of drunken teenagers running amok on the streets of Dingle on the recent Bank Holiday Sunday, local residents and business people want action taken to prevent similar incidents taking place in the future.
Many would like to see an outright ban on buses bringing teenagers to Dingle for bank holiday party events and on other occasions such as the Wren’s day, when they make a very unwelcome intrusion into the traditional festivities. However, people are well aware that this is not easily achieved and that Gardaí, who don’t have the resources to cope with the volume of drunken revellers, cannot simply impose or enforce a ban.
Locals also accept that while bus-borne teenagers from around the county are a significant problem, they’re not the only issue. Stag and hen parties, as well as local teenagers can be seen creating a very intimidating drunken atmosphere on the streets on any weekend of the year, especially on the Main Street side of town and especially during the summer months when tourists are often appalled at what they witness.
As far as John Carolan of An Conair bar is concerned, “it’s not about that Sunday [October Bank Holiday], it’s about a succession of Sundays – mostly on bank holidays in recent years”.
John feels that coach operators should be told to stop bringing night-time tours to Dingle on bank holidays, that late opening hours in pubs should be banned on bank holidays and that businesses should refuse to take bookings for stag parties. He held a private meeting of a limited number of publicans last week and plans to hold further meetings in an effort to come up with ways of addressing Dingle’s drink problem.
Dingle Peninsula Tourism Alliance Chairman Gary Curran, who also serves on the Business Chamber, said “if people are serious about this and other issues facing the town they should come to the meeting… the Chamber is only as good as the people who are on it.”
“We can’t lay down the law, but we can talk to the organisers of events that attract buses and ask them if they feel what they’re doing is good for the town.
In a statement issued to The Kerryman, Chairman of the Dingle branch of the Kerry Vintners Association John Benny Moriarty said: “The incident that occurred [on the October Bank Holiday] was an isolated one. All stakeholders agree that it needs to be dealt with. This process is now in train.”
The statement added: “The solution, we all agree lies ultimately with those who have primary responsibility for these young teenagers being on the streets late at night. This is what we all as stakeholders need to address at this time.”
A passerby helping a drunk man who collapsed on Dykegate Lane.