PARENTS have once again been called on to take responsibility for their teenagers, after a number of young people arrived drunk in buses and taxis during the Bandon Music Festival.
Gardaí arrested 11 people – predominantly juvenile – for drunkenness and public order offences, and they will be dealt with under the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme.
Supt Brendan Fogarty of Bandon Garda Station told The Southern Star that while the vast majority of festival goers behaved and enjoyed the festival, there were a number of teenagers who arrived intoxicated via taxis and buses, from all over West Cork and Cork city.
‘The buck stops with the parents as these teenagers are being allowed to travel on buses unsupervised. Parents have a huge part to play here. They should be bringing and collecting their children to and from these events,’ said Supt Fogarty.
‘Having these teenagers intoxicated can cause serious problems for the emergency services too, as doctors and ambulances are held up dealing with them.’
‘We arrested 11 teenagers and they were taken into garda custody for their own safety, and their parents were called to pick them up. They were shocked and very apologetic about the fact that their children were taking up emergency services’ time. Thankfully, the teenagers were able to be taken home with their parents, and we didn’t need ambulances to come to the station.’
Supt Fogarty added that they had one incident of criminal damage on the night, but that from an organisational point of view, it was a very successful festival.
‘It’s just that parents have to monitor their children and it’s irresponsible to let them on buses to go to an event in another town.’
Supt Fogarty said the levels of intoxication were different last weekend compared to the events in Bandon Rugby Club back in February, where a makeshift hospital was set up outside to treat drunken teenagers, and three were taken to CUH’s emergency department.
However, Dr Jason van der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response said he felt the events at Bandon Rugby Club were minor compared to last weekend. ‘It was a weekend of debauchery. I was called out twice to deal with drunk teenagers, but when I arrived on the scene on both occasions, there were no patients there so I didn’t treat anyone there,’ said Dr Jason.
Meanwhile, leading A&E consultant in Cork, Dr Chris Luke has called for mobile medical buses to be provided for events like the festival in Bandon and in particular to be located on Grand Parade in Cork city.
‘Event organisers need to anticipate this and if profit is being made, then some of this needs to go into the medical needs of the punters attending. This exists in Bristol and Belfast and people expect this,’ Dr Luke told The Southern Star. ‘The fact that it’s mobile means that it can be set up anywhere and the medical care should be self-contained there.’
Meanwhile, a number of drink drivers were caught in West Cork on both Saturday and Sunday night, with one detection for drug-driving in Bandon.