Garda boss slams poor parental supervision as three ambulances called to Bandon Rugby Club event
A SENIOR West Cork garda has said parents must play a greater role in supervising their children, after three teenagers were taken to CUH for extreme drunkenness and dozens more were treated at the scene, outside a popular teenage disco in Bandon last Friday night.
Three ambulances and several gardaí were called to Bandon Rugby Club, and there were a number of arrests, while an alleged assault is currently being investigated.
Supt Brendan Fogarty of Bandon Garda Station said teenagers, many extremely drunk, showed up on buses from all over Cork for the mid- term disco ‘Bounce’.
And a Rapid Response doctor said that because some teenagers were ‘unconscious’ from drink, club staff had no choice but to call ambulances. He added were it not for quick-thinking staff and on-site treatment, many more ambulances could have been called to the scene.
Bounce is regularly held at Bandon Rugby Club which operates a strict door policy. However, Supt Fogarty said far too many teenagers turned up for the already ‘sold-out’ event last Friday and many could not get access.
‘Parents have a huge responsibility to know where their children are, and a part to play with regards to the safety of their children,’ said Supt Fogarty. And he said it was ‘most disappointing’ that some children had been dropped off outside the club intoxicated, he told The Southern Star.
One parent who observed the chaos at the scene on Friday night said teenagers were quite clearly getting off buses highly intoxicated, and must have been drinking on the buses, or prior to boarding them.
Supt Fogarty also commented on the amount of vital resources that were needed on the night to cater for the drunk teenagers.
‘It took a lot of resources to police the situation and three ambulances. Dr Jason van der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response was also called to treat those who were extremely drunk. Six gardaí also attended outside after they received reports of drunken teenagers along the Clonakilty Rd that night,’ added Supt Fogarty.
The garda boss said the three ambulances were tied up when they could have been needed for emergencies elsewhere.
‘If there had been an emergency, they would not have been able to attend, and parents and their children need to realise the significance of this. It certainly needs to be addressed and I cannot strongly emphasise the implications it would have. Emergency personnel also said they were very concerned that they had to treat so many drunk teenagers on site.’
Dr Jason van der Velde said it was clear that some teenagers were drunk even before they boarded the buses, and said it had the potential to go very wrong.
‘The first actual call for an ambulance was at a pick-up for a bus in North Cork where the bus driver couldn’t let the person onto the bus, so it’s clear the drinking started even before they got on the buses,’ said Dr Jason.
‘This event is well organised but some teenagers are pushing the boundaries by getting absolutely hammered even before getting on the buses. They were concealing drink in all sorts of places and some were taking drugs. It’s a miniscule section of the crowd who let themselves down and their parents,’ said Dr Jason.
He added that some teenagers were unconscious from drink, so staff had no choice but to call ambulances.
‘We’d have needed a dozen ambulances if it wasn’t controlled better, which would have been a massive burden on the emergency department,’ added Dr Jason.
He praised the staff at Bandon Rugby Club who brought some of the drunken teens into a changing room and switched on heaters to warm them up.
‘They looked after them and rang their parents to collect them. They had more than enough staff on duty and they run a very good venue, but you will always get some teenagers pushing it too far.’
Gardaí made several arrests in relation to public disorder and dealt with others for intoxication. A meeting between gardaí and members of Bandon Rugby Club was held this week, but the details were not disclosed.
Bounce promoter Jordan McCabe from Newcestown told The Southern Star that the disco operates on pre-ticket sales and with a strict door policy where those who turn up drunk do not gain admission. An attempt to get a comment from Bandon Rugby Club management proved unsuccessful.