'Zero tolerance' approach to drunken bad behaviour on country's beaches, gardai warn
GARDAÍ warned a 'zero tolerance' approach will be taken with people who engage in drunken anti-social behaviour on beaches.
The warning came as a number of incidents were reported of teens arriving at beaches in Dublin, Cork and Waterford with huge quantities of alcohol and then drunkenly making a nuisance of themselves for families and other beach-goers.
Gardaí are now to step up patrols around beach resorts and strands both to crackdown on anti-social behaviour and excessive drinking as
well as to support lifeguards.
Lifeguards are already struggling to deal with a 50pc hike in the number of people flocking to beaches to enjoy the glorious weather.
Local authorities also warned they will take action over sun-seekers who leave cans, bottles, food wrappings and even nappies in their wake
after leaving the beach.
The most serious incident of anti-social behaviour recently occurred in Youghal, Co Cork where a 16 year old was hospitalised with head injuries after being hit with a hurley during a row erupted between two different groups of youngsters.
One group had travelled by bus the 60km from Cork city to the famous east Cork strand.
Another group, comprised of older youngsters in their early 20s, is believed to have been from the east Cork area.
One group arrived on the beach carrying slabs of beer and bottles of spirits - with families nervously moving farther up the beach to get
away from the throng of young teens.
Locals said the incident occurred around 8pm on Thursday night when the two groups clashed as they were leaving the beach.
One 16 year old was apparently struck with a hurley by a man in his 20s and collapsed onto steps leading from the beach.
Youghal Gardaí are now investigating the assault.
The young man was later taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) with non-life threatening injuries.
A friend of the teen contacted Cork's RedFM to say he would now require plastic surgery and claimed the teens were deliberately targeted by the older group who warned them to get out of the seaside town.
An eye-witness, who asked not to be named, said families watched in horror as the young man lay bleeding by the steps while teenage girls from the different groups clashed over what had just happened.
"All I could see was the blood pouring from the young lad," she said.
"Families were trying to make sure that young children didn't see what had happened."
"It was quite shocking."
Incidents of drunken anti-social behaviour have also been reported in Waterford and Dublin.
Gardaí warned they will not allow the drunken antics of a minority to ruin Irish beaches for families and tourists.
"This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and that is the message we want to got out," a Garda official said.
"We would urge anyone who sees anti-social behaviour on or near beaches to report it immediately and we will take the appropriate action."