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Sunday 11 December 2016

Our kids shall go to the ball, and we might too, regardless of the cost

The debs is not just a big night out, it’s a major life event, says Sarah Caden, with mum and dad along for the ride

Sarah Caden

Published 18/10/2015 | 02:30

BIG NIGHT: Debutants’ ball
BIG NIGHT: Debutants’ ball

'With people not getting married now so much, or getting married much later, the debs is kind of the big event," one south Dublin mother told me last week, settling back into normality after her 18-year-old daughter's attendance of no less than four balls.

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"For girls, anyway," she said, "it's the time when they wear the dress, get the hair done, have all the fuss. It's a ritual to mark the end of an era, and, the way things are now, they'll be waiting a long time for the next big milestone."

That might well be one reason for the huge production that is the modern-day debs. It has, perhaps, replaced the wedding in the life of the young Irish woman. But you could offer up a slew of other reasons, too, for the fact that a recent online survey discovered that the average Irish girl - or her parents - pay on average €1,115 for that single, significant night out.

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