A SCHOOL principal has backed plans by the Vintner’s Federation of Ireland (VFI) to encourage parents to bring their adult teenagers to the pub.
The Christmas scheme will see parents encouraged to bring their legal teens to the pub to teach them how to drink responsibly, in an attempt to curb binge drinking.
John O’Donovan - principal of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Ballybunion, Co Cork – described the idea as ‘lovely’.
Speaking to Radio Kerry he said: “Everyone keeps saying that something needs to be done to stop young people drinking but nobody really knows what to do.
“I think this is a fabulous idea and the publicans should be commended for it. This will bring families together and they can have a chat, which is lovely.”
The head of the 260 student school said that the plan should also be commended for giving parents and their older children the opportunity spend more time together.
“If a parent and child, of legal drinking age, can do anything together, then that is a great thing.”
However the principal, who is also the Kerry head of the ASTI, was clear that dealing with binge drinking by those under 18 was a completely separate issue.
“If someone underage ends up in the A&E drunk, then their parents should be fined”, he suggested.
“If it was an adult, the fine should be taken from their wages or social welfare.”
Mr O’Donovan stressed that publicans did not want to see people binge drinking, and that parents should always know where young people where when they went out at night.
The VFI has said the scheme is being trialled in the Cork and Kerry region this Christmas, in an attempt to encourage responsible alcohol consumption.