Anger at outdoor ‘party’ under Limerick bridge

Nick Rabbitts & Donal O'Regan

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Nick Rabbitts & Donal O'Regan

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Anger at outdoor ‘party’ under Limerick bridge

The aftermath – bottles and cans under one of the bridges along the Canal Bank on Sunday morning

FORMER Defence Minister Willie O’Dea says he may organise an objection to renewal of alcohol licenses at shops which appear to sell alcohol consumed by teens.

It comes after a group of between 20 and 30 youths were seen holding an outdoor party at the weekend in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.

The Limerick Leader witnessed the gathering under one of the bridges along the Canal Bank.

Flashing disco lights burnt brightly, with music blaring, and alcohol being consumed.

"This is very very serious, especially with this Covid-19 situation. Do the parents not have any sense of responsibility at all? Do they ever ask their kids where they have been when they come back drunk? They are very aggressive,” said the Fianna Fail TD.

“There has to be enforcement. These people are breaking the latest Covid-19 regulations. The gardai are supposed to be doing out and preventing this. I was talking to a man yesterday whose 98-year-old mother is in a nursing home and he can’t go into see her. Yet these people can openly flout the law in full view of the whole country,” the firebrand deputy added.​

Mr O’Dea says “it’s fairly obvious” they are being able to acquire alcohol from off-licences through other people, or themselves.

“There are conditions to people getting reviews of their licenses, and they’d want to bear that in mind,” he warned, “I wouldn’t be averse to checking out the licensing court to see when these people are coming up for renewal and getting someone to object on the basis that these things are happening. It’s hard to prove, but judges have to have a bit of common sense.”

Under Level 5 restrictions, no outdoor gatherings should be taking place.

A spokesman for An Garda Siochana said where gardai find potential public health breaches, a file is prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions or a fixed payment notice is issued.

“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Siochana continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with public health guidelines and regulations, in particular essential journeys in order to continue to save lives,” they added.