GARDAÍ in Schull have conducted a drink awareness campaign for young people as concerns about ‘Club Piero’ – weekend gatherings on the pier – continue.
Supt Ronan Kenneally confirmed that gardaí had visited the local secondary school and spoke to students ahead of their end-of-year celebrations.
Supt Kenneally said they were proactively responding to complaints that people ‘of all ages’ are congregating on the grassy slopes adjacent to the pier and playground in Schull.
Social media posts clearly show that age and gender is no barrier to attending what has been dubbed locally as ‘Club Piero’, but the majority are young people.
One social media video clearly shows a bare-chested young man staggering with a cigarette in his mouth and falling on the ground. The videos indicate that some of the gatherings are large, noisy, and frequently drunken, and the time of day is often irrelevant.
Locals say some outdoor sessions have flown in the face of the Covid-19 regulations, with a lack of facemasks and social distancing.
One local described it as ‘disgusting’ and said the phenomena has spread to ‘Hill 16’, the grassy slope at the playground field.
It was claimed that young people from as far away as Cork city and Kerry had arrived in Schull last Saturday, causing the crowd to swell to around 200 people.
Littering is also an issue, leaving local authority staff and locals to clean up on Sunday mornings.
One man, dog walking last Sunday afternoon told The Southern Star he found himself circled by 15 to 20 teenagers who ‘swarmed around’ him boasting about how much they had drank the night before.
‘There’s no control,’ he said. ‘What are 16 and 18-year-olds doing, drinking to excess, and putting themselves in danger on a pier wall, then boasting about how they nearly fell off. Where are the parents?’
The man said he did not make a complaint to the gardaí. ‘What can they do?’ he asked.
‘The pier has got such a bad reputation now for anti-social behaviour, what can one or two gardaí on duty do?’
Supt Kenneally said adults also need to take responsibility. He appealed to parents to ensure their children act responsibly and for everyone to respect property, and the playground, so it can be used by all.
The gardaí are planning regular checkpoints in Schull in the coming months.