Gardai to crack down on teenage drinking at beaches this summer

Portmarnock Beach in north Dublin
Portmarnock Beach in north Dublin

Gardai are planning to crack down on teenage drinking in public places this summer due to concerns regarding a rise in public order offences.

Officers with the public order unit are to be deployed to areas which have in the past been focal points of petty crime, including underage drinking and anti-social behaviour. 

Gardai, together with Dublin City Council, have identified a number of locations which have previously witnessed heightened levels of teenage drinking and violent incidents. Among them are Howth, Portmarnock Beach, Seapoint and various areas in the inner city.

According to gardai, Operation Irene will "combat under-age alcohol consumption and consumption of alcohol in a public place.

"Gardai will enforce legislation regulating the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol as well as relevant public order legislation."

Gardai are taking a proactive approach to the problem. In the last several years the number of callouts to public places has been steadily increasing. Higher visibility and presence will act as a deterrent, gardai hope. 

The operation will be in effect between June 1 and August 31.

Head of the Joint Policing Committee Cllr Daithi de Roiste said gardai need to target public transport systems such as the DART.

"Public order offences are up because of people drinking outside clubs in town and things like that and that’s the underlying problem. But with the good weather, you’ll see it jump more because people are outdoors. They’re having fun and they’re drinking.

"I think the gardai need to increase high visibility patrols particularly in the parks. What we have is young GAA teams training in parks and the last thing they need is to get accosted by people who are under the influence of alcohol.

"Gardai need to liase with Iarnorod Eireann and the DART and large number of people aren’t heading out to beaches and going drinking because we’ve seen the mayhem that causes."

Last week he told the Mirror there has been an annual increase in such behaviour during the summer.

"We find nearly every year there is an increase in this behaviour in the summer. The days are getting longer and the weather is usually a bit better. That sees people heading off in their droves to the beaches and parks.

"Most people just want to enjoy the sunshine but there is a very real element that use the weather as an excuse to get off their heads drunk."