You “can’t give them a clip on the ear,” Insp Bernard Barry told Cllr Conor Delaney during a debate at Nenagh Joint Policing Committee on underage drinking. Cllr Delaney, who raised the issue, had asked what the Garda response was to reports of underage drinking around the town.
“If you get a call about a group in a field with alcohol, how do you deal with it?” he asked. “Do they give thema clip on the ear and tell them to cop on and to get lost? Do they bring them to the station and call their parents?”
The FG councillor said that he had been told by parents that the Gardai just confiscate the alcohol, and he was concerned that the next time any group came together to drink they would have a friend that would text them the Gardai were on the way and would scatter.
Insp Barry said that there was a big difference between underage teenage drinking and over-age teenage drinking. He told the meeting that underage drinking was not a problem in Nenagh.
“A lot of the people we interact with as over age but still teenagers,” he said. “You can’t give them a clip on the ear. We have been active, but with summertime coming teenagers and over-18s will gather and partake in alcohol. We are active and we deal with it through anti-social orders. If the orders don’t work we have the bylaws. Once we take out an order, we find they don’t reoffend,” he said.
He said that 22 orders had been taken out in 2010, and 21 of them were for people over 18 years.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star