UP to 200 teenagers were left disappointed after being denied entry to a Junior Cert results party at the Sin Bin on Wednesday night.
Proprietor Peter Clohessy said he would “love to have been able to let them all in” but that it would have been “unsafe” to exceed the capacity of 550 in the nightclub.
A complaint that the venue was overcrowded had been responded to by the fire officer, who Mr Clohessy said had been satisfied with how the event was run.
But parents who contacted the Limerick Leader begged to differ - at least in terms of the queues outside. One described the queuing arrangements as “chaotic” and “more or less a free-for-all”.
Another, Sinead Lawler, said her son and his friends had been queuing for almost two hours when an “unnecessarily rude bouncer” told them, “nobody else is getting in and you might as well eff off and go home”.
Ms Lawler said the party, run by promoters Inferno, had been billed to take place between 9pm and midnight with teenagers invited to start forming a queue from 7.30pm.
“It wasn’t so much a case of a load of trouble or people falling around drunk. That wasn’t what I saw at all. What I did see was hundreds of kids with nowhere to go and all very disappointed. My son and his friends got in there at 7.30pm. They were put in a queue opposite Clohessy’s on the riverside and all corralled in and tightly packed. At around 9.20pm he rang me and said ‘mum I’ve been told I’m not getting in’ and could I come and get him,” said Ms Lawler, Adare.
Her son’s group had got separated from one friend, who was eventually admitted, and it was when they asked security if they could go in and join him, that they were told to “eff off”, Ms Lawler said.
“There really is no need to be rude to 15-year-olds who weren’t giving them any jib,” said Ms Lawler.
Mr Clohessy, meanwhile, acknowledged he had received complaints from parents this Thursday morning but said safety of young patrons had been the priority at all times.
“Once we meet our maximum numbers in the nightclub we can’t let any more people in because it is not safe to let them in. The crowd was handled. What happened was we got in our 550 people; that is our maximum number for the nightclub and with an underage event like that you have to manage the numbers very carefully. Unfortunately some kids didn’t get in because we had to let the people at the head of the queue in first,” said Mr Clohessy.
“Obviously these things happen. There was probably 150 to 200 kids didn’t get in and I would love to have left them all in but unfortunately I couldn’t.
“Somebody actually rang the fire officer to say the place was overcrowded and he came down and checked all the fire exits and the whole place and was very happy that the crowd inside were well within the numbers,” Mr Clohessy said.
Ms Lawler, however, criticised how the event was run in that other parties for younger teenagers were ticket-only events.
“It seemed to be a case of get them in and once we are full, shut down the doors and that is it,” Ms Lawler said. She described groups of teenagers “on every street corner” around the area who were disappointed at not being able to celebrate their exam results.
Gardai, meanwhile, reported no significant public order incidents on results night in Limerick.