GARDAI CRITICISE YOUTH DISCO PROMOTERS
Gardai have strongly criticised organisers of a youth disco held in Mitchelstown over the August bank holiday weekend for failing to liaise with them both ahead of the event and on the night of the disco itself.
“Gardai were not informed of this disco ahead of the event and if we were we would have objected against it,” Sgt Paul Barry of Mitchelstown Gardai said this week. The disparaging comments come a week after promoters threatened that they were “on the verge of stopping the discos” in a letter to The Avondhu.
The threat followed an incident involving three youths who were found to be under the influence of alcohol at the town hall event. While the letter from the promoters claim the youths, two 15 year olds and a 13 year old, attempted to gain entry to the disco, Sgt Barry claims one of the intoxicated teenagers was admitted to the event.
“One was definitely let in,” Sgt Barry said, “his mother cut a wristband off him, so they took money off him for admittance.” Sgt Barry explained that while organisers are not required to do so by law, in this instance neither the local clergy, who let out the hall, nor event organisers informed the Gardai of the event.
Thomas Power of MixMania Promotions denies that the promoters failed to inform Gardai. “Fermoy Gardai were called ahead of the disco,” Mr. Power told The Avondhu.
“The only comment we will make is that while parents are bound to argue why and how these people may have gotten in, the biggest problem here is that they were drunk in the first place? Where did they get the drink?"
“I cannot comment on whether or not this particular individual got in; our system is set up to issue wristbands at the entrance before admittance to the disco,” he concluded. Sgt Barry, however says that had the gardai been consulted they would not have let the event go ahead.
“We did not have the manpower to cover such an event, bearing in mind the festival was also on that night,” he said. Furthermore Sgt Barry claimed that promoters did not inform the emergency services on the night of the incident involving the youths.
“We only became aware both of the disco and of the particular incident while on routine patrol. When we arrived on the scene the parents were already there. When it was found out that these youths were drunk no emergency services were contacted by the staff.
"We believe that one youth was admitted and one was left outside the grounds. We were not notified.” Worryingly Sgt Barry believes a parent of one of the youths’ friends supplied the alcohol for the minors.
“This drink was supplied by a friend’s parent who may have had children of his own that age. There’s a big age difference in children going to these events, some as young as 12 years old.”
“This event should not have gone ahead that night, bringing children into the town when a major festival, in which a lot of drink was sold, was also taking place,” Sgt Barry concluded. “Some of these children were then hanging around with drunk people in the Square after the disco.”
Thomas Power said that parents with any queries, concerns, or questions about any MixMania Promotions events are welcome to call the promoters. They are available anytime for consultation on 025-86922.
Thursday 14th August 6:18pm