Outdoor drinkers are facing fine of €2,500 at coastal beauty spot
Outdoor revellers at a beauty spot could have a rude awakening this weekend, with the prospect of being arrested or facing a fine of €2,500 if they are involved in anti-social drinking.
Gardaí will be patrolling Carlingford in Co Louth across the bank holiday weekend in an attempt to stop what residents feel is destroying the coastal town's streets.
The move has come about after local people campaigned for Louth County Council for action following previous Easter breaks witnessing undesirable scenes.
Now bye-laws have been introduced to restrict any consumption of alcohol outside over the Easter weekend.
The bye-laws are being publicised by the council across social networks and on street signs.
They state: "Where a member of the Garda Síochána is of the opinion that a person has committed an offence, the member may arrest that person."
It continues: "Any person who contravenes a provision of these bye-laws is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €2,500."
Councillor Antóin Watters told the Irish Independent the campaign to clamp down on public drinking had come about after two years of residents' lobbying for restrictions.
"I've been working with local residents on this, and it's culminated in a special operation over the Easter bank holiday weekend," Mr Watters said.
"That means extra garda resources to curb drinking in public spaces.
"I'm delighted to see this operation will be put in place."
However, Marie Larkin, manager of Riina's restaurant in the town, did not agree with the strict measures.
"I think it's going a bit too far, it's a bit overboard," she said.
"I don't think this campaign should be targeting young people. If the publicans let them in to get really drunk and then out onto the street, that shouldn't be happening.
Carlingford was hit by tragedy on the St Patrick's Day weekend when Ruth Maguire (30) died tragically on a friend's hen party.
Ms Maguire's family have called for safety barriers to be erected around the pier in Carlingford, so that another tragedy might be prevented.
Her sister, Rachel Wilkinson, said that Ruth was a great mum and was devoted to the three kids she had with fiancé James Griffin.