Can we stop the mad­ness?

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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.

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