Gardai patrols increased to target underage drinkers in Howth

Gardai said the man was shot at the Road Tramps Motorcycle club

Laura Larkin

GARDA patrols have been increased in Howth to deal with anti-social behaviour and underage drinking in the hot weather.

The blistering temperatures have drawn crowds of youths to Howth Harbour, causing concern among local residents.

Local TD Tommy Broughan told the Herald there has been "mayhem" on both the east and west piers and on nearby beaches already this summer.

The independent deputy said that residents and visitors to the area have complained about young people arriving in the popular tourist spot with trays of beer.

Some have even been using children's buggies to transport their alcohol stashes.

Deputy Broughan has asked Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to allocate more resources to the area.

In a recent parliamentary question Minister Fitzgerald outlined the Operation Irene scheme that is being run by gardai to tackle anti-social behaviour on the capital's beaches.

Minister Fitzgerald confirmed that there will be an increased garda presence in Howth, at the pier and at the Dart station as part of the operation, which will run until the end of August.

The policing plan is being rolled out at beaches across the capital.

It comes following several summers of problems at coastal locations in the city.

Howth proved a popular place for teenagers to gather in large numbers and anti-social behaviour followed.

Last June, the picturesque seaside village was the scene of a violent rampage by drunken teens.

In what was later suspected to be an organised meeting or "flash-bash", teens clashed on the beach forcing families there to flee in fear.

Gardai said at the time that they had limited resources to respond to the situation early on in the day when it first became clear there was a problem.

Local businesses then demanded that the authorities clamp down on the problem which they felt was ruining the village's good reputation among both Dubliners and visitors.