THERE was confusion and anger at a number of venues last weekend as tickets for this weekend’s teenage Hallowe’en discos were allocated.
The confusion arose as new measures were introduced for two popular teenage events in Clonakilty, following recommendations from a District Court judge last week.
Judge James McNulty recommended that the organisers of three events in particular introduce a parental consent form, which organisers of the two Clonakilty discos introduced immediately.
As forms were handed out last weekend, there was confusion as to whether they needed to be signed on the spot or were for later events.
Some teenagers who turned up at venues to buy tickets without their parents were in tears, thinking they would not be able to buy tickets, while others left their places in the large queues to get more information and lost out as a result.
One parent told The Southern Star that there was ‘total confusion’ outside The Boiler Room venue in Clonakilty last Friday night, when tickets went on sale.
Another lady, Mary Lane, queried on The Boiler Room’s social media page: ‘What was the point in parental consent forms tonight, when 80% got tickets without parents with them?’
She described it as ‘bad organisation’ and another parent who queued with his teenage son described the scene as ‘pandemonium’ as many parents queued for about two hours and still didn’t get tickets. Donal McCarthy, secretary of Clonakilty Agricultural Show – which runs The Boiler Room event – said that as the Hallowe’en disco had already been pre-advertised without a requirement for consent forms, they couldn’t rightly turn away teenagers who didn’t have their parents present.
‘We had only been in court the day before when this was suggested, and we tried to accommodate everyone who sought tickets. Hallowe’en is one of our bigger nights and there are always a few left disappointed when it sells out,’ said Donal.
‘We will have the forms in place for the next event, and we will take everything on board from the next court sitting, but it has to be workable, too, for us.’
Organisers of The GAA Club at the Ahamilla Complex also made their venue the only point of sale for the selling of tickets from last Friday evening and stopped the earlier sale of tickets at locations in Bandon and Skibbereen.
‘Judge McNulty had expressed his preference for the tickets for the disco to be sold at the venue. It was short notice, but at the end of the day we had to buy into the conditions of the court,’ said Ger McCarthy, club chairman.
‘Not everyone will be happy with the new approach, but it’s all about the safety of the children attending and it also brings more control to our events.’
Rose Grandon posted on the GAA disco’s Facebook page that ‘the organisation for this was crap. Why advertise for something to go on sale for four different times and sell them all in one go? Some people were unable to make Friday evening’.
While another person said it was a shame that people from Skibbereen had to travel to Clonakilty to get tickets.
A spokesperson for Bandon Rugby Club, where the popular Bounce Disco is held, confirmed there would be no mid-term disco at their venue but pointed out that they had already introduced parental consent forms for the last two discos held at the venue.
Speaking at Bandon District Court last week Judge McNulty suggested clubs should sell the tickets to the parents and he handed out a sample ‘parental commitments’ form.
He also suggested the use of random breath tests; a reduction in numbers attending the events, and separate discos for younger and older teenagers.
Judge McNulty has asked for the organisers to return to court in a month’s time.