STUDENTS in Kinsale have expressed their concerns over the rise in reported cases of drinks being spiked and have called for an awareness campaign to be launched in the town with the support of local publicans.
‘Strike out Spiking’ is a project being initiated by Transition Year students of Kinsale Community School and they recently examined the subject in a podcast, broadcast from their own radio and podcast studio, which was officially launched last year.
Mary Crilly from the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork, Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns and Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard participated in the podcast.
They were told that incidents of drink spiking nationwide rose from 62 in 2021 to 106 in 2022, compared to 12 incidents which were reported in 2020.
There is also under-reporting of drink spiking incidents.
Last August, The Southern Star highlighted an incident where a 19-year-old Bantry woman was hospitalised after she believed her drink was spiked following a night out in the town. This week Deputy Holly Cairns commended the students for addressing this issue.
‘They are taking a very strong and proactive stance on this issue and have suggested actions such as a pilot project in Kinsale to create an awareness campaign with the support of all publicans,’ said Deputy Cairns.
‘This would be a great idea to address this serious problem. I know the bars in Kinsale would be supportive of anything that could be done to address this crime.’
She called on the government to make spiking a specific criminal offence because it is only currently covered under poisoning legislation.
‘This crime is not about poisoning, it is a disgusting sexual crime and it needs to be criminalised for what it is,’ she said.
School principal Fergal McCarthy commended the students involved in the podcast.
‘Social issues should become conversational for adolescents. It’s very mature of them to reach out to those in authority and in power and listen to what students have to say on these issues,’ said Mr McCarthy.
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