Measures tackling underage drinking, be they legal or social, must be taken seriously and supported according to Labour city councillor Niall McNelis.
At the recent Joint Policing Committee Meeting, Cllr McNelis questioned gardaí on what is being done in the city and Salthill to tackle incidents of licensed premises selling alcohol to minors.
He also raised concerns about so called ‘drinking hot spots’, ie, secluded or public areas, used by teenage/underage drinkers.
In reply, the gardaí informed Cllr McNelis that last year, 55 licensed premises were visited in Galway city, Oranmore, Athenry, and Claregalway, for test purchase buys of alcohol. Of these, 17 were found to have sold drink to minors. Prosecutions for each of the 17 detections have begun.
Regarding the ‘hot spots’ for underage drinking, Cllr McNelis was informed that Millennium Park, University Road, was the chief location for underage drinking. However local community gardaí have given the area “specific attention” and “incidents and detections have declined dramatically”.
“This kind of action must continue if we are to seriously tackle the abuse of drink in Irish society,” said Cllr McNelis. “All stake holders must take an active role in making young people safe and to provide alternatives to alcohol.”