BY PETER ALLEN
THE call by a leading A&E doctor that buses to the teenage discos in West Cork should be stopped for a year on a trial basis, has been met with enthusiastic support from readers of The Southern Star’s Facebook page.
Since the story was posted online during the week, it has reached over 24,600 people and was shared 478 times.
The comments by Dr Chris Luke came after The Southern Star exclusively reported the drunken chaos at a non-alcohol disco, ‘Bounce’ at Bandon Rugby Club nearly three weeks ago, when two teenagers had the potential to die on the scene due to extreme drunkenness.
Dr Luke, of the Mercy and CUH Emergency Departments, said that the onus should be on the parents to drop and collect their teenage children from discos.
Tracy Harrington posted that she agreed with Dr Luke and that ‘lack of parental care is a huge problem in Ireland, with a large percentage thinking “drop them off and someone else will take care of them.”
‘If they have been bused there, then there should be parents on the bus. Buses should only leave if parents are aboard. No parents = No bus!’
Jennifer Shanahan warned against closing discos outright and said parents should definitely drop and collect their teens from discos.
‘Don’t close them down, to be fair you can’t tarnish them all with the one brush. There’s not much around to do for them either. Take responsibility for your child and their actions, there’s a lot of parents oblivious, or turning a blind eye, to what their teens are getting up to.’
Ginger Victi posted that having a bus take teenagers to discos is not the issue, rather it’s the normalisation of the drunken behaviour.
‘It is the turning of a blind eye to the drinks cabinet being emptied just before a disco; to the bottles of fizzy drink that they are taking with them, laced with spirits. If you think stopping a bus will solve the issue, that is just naïve, they will just find another venue that doesn’t need a bus journey and still get plastered.’
Rosie O’Brien made the point that the scale of the events and the range of their catchment areas might be a problem.
‘Busing kids in from other towns is crazy. Local events for local kids. Parents – bring your kids yourselves.’