Public events and underage drinking

A Londonderry GP and local priest have called for the Derry City Council organised Halloween Festival to be cancelled because of problems with underage drinking at the event.

  • George

    Halloween is one of the Irish drinker’s many coming out parties.

    Others include Junior Cert results and of course St. Patricks.

    But Halloween was always the maddest and, may I say it, most dangerous of the nights. Not surprising as most of the youth were out “knacker drinking” (unaware of the correct 2006 PC term for that one).

    Banning a festival won’t change a thing. You’ll still always get somebody to buy your gargle or else find some offie telling you to put your flagan under your coat on the way.

  • Derry baiter

    Would it not be more effective to just ban Derry entirely….?

  • Chris Donnelly


    This was discussed on Talkback, following a related discussion on the consequences of underage drinking across the north.

    There was a discussion with a representative from the Falls Community Council, who told about an initiative they will be re-launching shortly to put pressure on Off-Licence premises to be extra vigilant about whom they serve alcohol to.

    Some people mentioned that schools should play a more positive role in discouraging underage drinking.

    But ultimately, this one comes down to parenting. An elderly friend of mine mentioned to me last week that she hates the good weather because it brings the hoods out onto the streets, a depressing yet accurate observation.

    Anyone travelling around Belfast during the recent heatwave can’t but have noticed groups of very young teenagers drinking in less than discreet locations. Only a fool would take at face value the parent who claims ignorance of the exploits of their children.

    The plain and simple truth is that, in the vast majority of these cases, the parents do not want to know what the child is getting up to.

    I’m in favour of anything which puts pressure on parents to live up to their societal obligations. That these two community leaders have chosen to voice their opposition to what should be a positive event for tourism in Derry illustrates how out of hand this problem has become in many areas.

  • Yer Woman

    There really is nothing to do in Derry if you’re under 18 (that’s unless you frequent the many city centre drinking establishments that turn a blind eye to under-age patrons, thus ruining it for those of us of a legal age). Occasions like Halloween and, more recently, St Patrick’s day, is just an opportunity for Derry’s yoof to literally go mad on alcohol on city centre streets without fear of being caught as the whole town is too sloshed out of their heads to care.

    I stopped going out at Halloween in Derry years ago as the city centre is now far too packed and bars/night clubs dangerously inadmissible due to the sheer amount of people they allow in. Add to that the increasing numbers of out-of-towners that go there to experience the festival. It’s just no fun anymore, and it ain’t sure as hell ain’t safe, and that’s thanks to the amount of blocked wains allowed out on the rip.

  • Paul

    I don’t know if Derry is any worse than anywhere else but the sale of booze to obviously underage drinkers is quite blatent in many city centre pubs, sorry, drinking warehouses and clubs. Does anyone ever get prosecuted for this anymore?

  • Fanny

    “There really is nothing to do in Derry if you’re under 18”

    Nothing eh? No books, no music, no museums, no sports, no charity work, no cinemas, no computers, no dvds, no swimming pools, no dogs to walk, no bicycles to ride….

    I could go on for a page or more. Are you serious, Yer Woman?


    Why are people even remotely surprised?

    In the UK and in Ireland, the purpose of drinking is to get as drunk as possible. Why would those under the legal age act differently from the majority of those drinking in bars?

    We need to change the whole drinkig culture, not just curb the activities of a few kids.

  • Fanny

    Amen to that, TAFKABO – and I’m not even remotely religious.

  • harpo

    ‘ “There really is nothing to do in Derry if you’re under 18”

    Nothing eh? No books, no music, no museums, no sports, no charity work, no cinemas, no computers, no dvds, no swimming pools, no dogs to walk, no bicycles to ride….’


    Quite right. I’ve heard this in every region of every part of western society that I’ve lived in. The claim by ‘bored youth’ that there is nothing to do.

    What the hell is it that they want to do? What is being kept from them, or what is not being provided to them?

    I’d say this is yet more spolied little fcukers using any excuse to drink themselves stupid. As you say there is plenty for them to do if they could be bothered.

    A couple of years in somewhere like Sudan would serve them right. Then they’d really see what it is like to have nothing to do, eat or wear.

    Yer woman does mention one relevant point. The parents. They are probably of the same mindset and drink themselves stupid too. If the parents are morons the kids will end up as morons too. Whatever happened to parents doing stuff with their kids, or setting good examples for them? These kids just seem to be dumped out on the streets by the parents.

  • faartrick

    the kids are damned if the do and damned if they dont….when they did something constructive recently, like putting a coat of gloss on the war memorial statue in the diamond, they got crucified in the press
    brendan duddy, of policing board fame, who owns the strand bar, is the biggest seller of alcohol to underage children in the city. on some nights it would be difficult to find someone on his premises who is over the age for drinking, but his pals in the ruc/psni turn a blind eye to it.
    its disgraceful. what do you expect from the kids though when people like duddy are touted as the local captains of industry. its not just parents that are setting a bad example.