Parents braced for 'lost weekend' over Junior Cert results
A leading alcohol campaign organisation says it's disappointed the Junior Cert results will be released on a Friday this year, instead of mid-week.
A spokesman for Alcohol Action Ireland called the decision to release the results on Friday October 4 as "regrettable."
Releasing the results on a Friday instead of during the school week means teenagers may be tempted to extend their celebrations over an entire weekend instead of just one day.
For many, that means consuming alcohol, even though it is illegal and harmful for them to drink under age.
"Children of 15 and 16 shouldn't be consuming alcohol at all," he said.
But according to one parent, it hasn't stopped an annual parade of drunken teenage girls staggering around and falling over in stilettos and micro-mini skirts, on their way to discos or nightclubs where even more alcohol will be consumed.
"Disgusting displays of young girls spilling out of their skimpy outfits and vomiting or urinating on the streets is not only revolting, these girls are too out of it to realise how much danger they are putting themselves in," the concerned parent, who did not want to be named, said.
A spokesman for the National Parents Council of Ireland said whether the results are released during the week or at the weekend makes little difference.
"It's a Catch-22," he told The Herald.
When the results are traditionally released on a Wednesday, classrooms are typically empty the following Thursday and Friday because students are too hungover to go to school or take it upon themselves to give themselves the rest of the week off, he said.
In many cases, the schools themselves suspend classes on a Thursday, he added.
While releasing the results on a Friday won't result in the loss of class time, it just means a weekend of mayhem is in store for everyone else to endure, he said.
"The main problem is children go out and drink.
"I'd also be concerned about them popping pills," he said.
"My daughter said she didn't want to go out on her Junior Cert night because everyone would be drunk.
"There are also child protection issues. If they go to a pub or nightclub they often will get served," he added.
However, he said parents are ultimately still responsible for their children's behaviour and safety.
"The message is parents should see where their children are going. But parents can only advise them of the dangers."
Meanwhile, Alcohol Action Ireland urged parents to read Alcohol and Drugs: A Parent's Guide, which is available from the HSE's website healthpromotion.ie or askabout alcohol.ie.