'More gardai needed to stamp out underage drinking on city beaches'
A LACK of garda resources is being blamed for growing underage drinking on our city's beaches.
At a Joint Policing Meeting (JPC) in Malahide, Co Dublin, residents this week told of underage drinking on the beaches and the need for more gardai.
One local, Michael Collins, outlined to senior gardai that people regularly had to clean up after gangs of youths drinking on the northside beaches.
"There is often a huge mess the morning afterwards and we have been out on early 6am sweeps", Mr Collins said.
Another resident said that the elderly were "afraid to come out of their homes" when gangs of youths were arriving on trains during the summer.
Supt Ronan Galligan said that last year's garda operation in the area had been "very successful" and said officers intended to continue to police any anti-social behaviour with as much severity.
"The consumption of alcohol on public beaches will not be tolerated and we will be making that message very clear," he said.
Last year, the country's beaches were swarmed by thousands of underage youths who invaded the area.
Several fights broke out among groups of teens at Howth Pier and Claremont beach near Sutton, while Portmarnock was the scene of more chaos.
Gardai published pictures of all alcohol they confiscated at beaches last year.
In 2013, gangs of teenagers, openly drinking alcohol, descended onto Portmarnock beach for a rave which was advertised online and the event quickly turned to chaos and violence.
Minister for Children James Reilly, who was at the JPC meeting on Wednesday, said he hoped the area could avail of more resources coming out of Templemore.
"We had a financial crisis that we are only coming out of and we have only recently announced that there will be 300 new gardai to be recruited in Templemore.
"The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has assured me that there will be 250 more recruits joining this year and we hope that 100 new guards will be on the streets in the next couple of weeks," he said.