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Bandon teens hold protest at local shopping centre

September 4th, 2015 5:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Teenagers protest outside the Riverview Shopping Centre in Bandon

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BY Kieran O’Mahony

A PARENT who attended a protest by about 40 teenagers at the Riverview Shopping Centre in Bandon last Sunday afternoon has described their actions as ‘positive’ because they for stood up for themselves.

Dan Holland from Bandon was one of two parents who attended the protest organised by teenagers who claim they were barred by management of the shopping centre due to the anti-social behaviour of a few individuals.

‘This has been going on for a while and it happened to my two sons recently when they were told they were effectively barred from the shopping centre and escorted out of the place,’ said Dan Holland, speaking to The Southern Star.

‘What they are basically doing is tarring all the kids with the same brush and there is an awful lot of support for these teenagers. I don’t think people were aware what was actually going on and, as a parent, I was very upset that my two sons were barred from the shopping centre. The thing with teenagers is that if you confront them they will react in a negative way, and barring them is not a solution.’

The group of teenagers organised banners and posters and they marched through the centre silently and outside the entrances to highlight what they feel is an injustice to them. Saoirse O’Sullivan (14), a third year student at St Brogan’s College, was one of the organisers of the protest and created a group chat to mobilise her friends.

‘I decided that if we organised a protest, then we could get our point across and that they would listen to us,’ said Saoirse.

‘I was delighted with the strong turnout and I even went to the gardaí to notify them that we would be holding a peaceful assembly at Riverview Shopping Centre,’ she said.

‘It’s not a case that we were harassing people and we did actually help people sometimes when we were allowed in there,’ she said.

A spokesperson for Riverview Shopping Centre said that in recent months shoppers and management have experienced ongoing anti-social behaviour.

‘Our priority is to provide consumers with a positive shopping experience, while also ensuring the welfare of our staff.

‘As such, we have taken the necessary steps in order to reduce anti-social behaviour at the centre,’ said the spokesperson.

BY Kieran O’Mahony

A PARENT who attended a protest by about 40 teenagers at the Riverview Shopping Centre in Bandon last Sunday afternoon has described their actions as ‘positive’ because they for stood up for themselves.

Dan Holland from Bandon was one of two parents who attended the protest organised by teenagers who claim they were barred by management of the shopping centre due to the anti-social behaviour of a few individuals.

‘This has been going on for a while and it happened to my two sons recently when they were told they were effectively barred from the shopping centre and escorted out of the place,’ said Dan Holland, speaking to The Southern Star.

‘What they are basically doing is tarring all the kids with the same brush and there is an awful lot of support for these teenagers. I don’t think people were aware what was actually going on and, as a parent, I was very upset that my two sons were barred from the shopping centre. The thing with teenagers is that if you confront them they will react in a negative way, and barring them is not a solution.’

The group of teenagers organised banners and posters and they marched through the centre silently and outside the entrances to highlight what they feel is an injustice to them. Saoirse O’Sullivan (14), a third year student at St Brogan’s College, was one of the organisers of the protest and created a group chat to mobilise her friends.

‘I decided that if we organised a protest, then we could get our point across and that they would listen to us,’ said Saoirse.

‘I was delighted with the strong turnout and I even went to the gardaí to notify them that we would be holding a peaceful assembly at Riverview Shopping Centre,’ she said.

‘It’s not a case that we were harassing people and we did actually help people sometimes when we were allowed in there,’ she said.

A spokesperson for Riverview Shopping Centre said that in recent months shoppers and management have experienced ongoing anti-social behaviour.

‘Our priority is to provide consumers with a positive shopping experience, while also ensuring the welfare of our staff.

‘As such, we have taken the necessary steps in order to reduce anti-social behaviour at the centre,’ said the spokesperson.

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