... But for a minority, revelry is too much as teens lie slumped
YOUNG girls slumped amid pools of vomit and shattered alcohol bottles, a teenage boy lying unconscious on the street and frantic kids attempting to care for drunken, incapacitated friends -- the Junior Cert celebrations went too far for some.
While the vast majority of teenagers enjoyed their well-deserved night out, these were the scenes that unfolded for some in Dublin city centre.
D'Olier Street was the focus of the worst excess by the relatively early hour of 9pm.
While the Twenty One Club throbbed with well-behaved revellers, the situation on the pavement outside presented an ugly sight.
For those who were clearly intoxicated and refused entry, a night of planned celebration came to an early end.
One young man was spotted passed out cold on the street as members of St John's Ambulance crew tended to him.
Yet he wasn't the only one in need of care. Further up the street, two skimpily clad young girls collapsed onto some steps, having vomited up their evening's alcohol.
Wearing towering heels and bum-skimming dresses, the pair submitted to the care of their sober friend who was left with the task of arranging their safe passage home.
Another ill youngster had no such problems, having drunk himself into such a state that he had to be collected from the city centre by his father.
Around the corner on Hawkins Street, the night was only just beginning for the hard-working members of Dublin Fire Service ambulance crew.
Stretched out on the pavement was yet another teenage girl, ashen-faced, visibly ill and shivering in a short dress. Her head rolling, she was loaded into the back of an ambulance and taken to hospital.
Mercifully, the ambulance call-out was one of only a few significant incidents on what Dublin Fire Services described overall as a "surprisingly quiet" night.
Across the city at the Old Wesley club in Donnybrook, an exuberant but controlled atmosphere prevailed.
A slew of security staff patrolled the gates, monitoring entry to the all-ticket event. No less than seven gardai were also gathered at the venue, ensuring a well-run disco for youngsters looking for an innocent night out.
Organiser Donie Bolger told the Herald: "The disco runs from 7pm until midnight, because they all have to be up for school in the morning.
"We always have four paramedics from the Red Cross but, to be honest, 70pc of the time they're dealing with girls who have blisters and sore feet from their high heels."
In fact, blister plasters appeared to be essential for stiletto-wearing attendees who vowed not to part with their shoes no matter how painful. And alcohol was the last thing on the minds of party-goers who were happy to enjoy "a sober buzz", according to 15-year-old Michelle Walsh from Clontarf.
"Our parents trust us to go out and they know we're safe at Old Wesley," she said.
Schoolmates Aisling O'Grady Walshe, Tess Higgins and Eliza McKenna were equally realistic about their partying, with Aisling pointing out: "I think people are really mean about teenagers drinking. We're just celebrating with our friends here and nobody is drunk."
Clontarf girl Oran Lynch revealed: "There is no pressure on us to drink. Jedward are really good role models for us".
And while some ill-advised girls at other parties made it their mission to get their hands on alcohol, 15-year-old Lauren McClean divulged the truly important aspects of the big night.
"We've spent ages preparing for the night and planning our outfits," she laughed.