Portmarnock beach: Binge drinking is an ongoing problem in the area.
BINGE drinking on Portmarnock beach is an ongoing problem and needs a concerted effort by local gardaí and Fingal County Council to tackle it.
That’s the view of a local councillor who says he receives complaints on an ongoing basis from fed up locals who witness drinking parties on the beach and the mess they leave behind.
The problem came to a head last summer when a riot, fuelled by alcohol, took place on the beach involving more than 20 individuals.
The men had consumed large quantities of alcohol and were removed by local gardaí from Portmarnock beach after a pitched battle between a group of non-nationals and some locals.
But according to Cllr Peter Coyle (Lab), that incident was not the end of it and drinking parties on the beach have continued right through the winter.
He raised the issue at a meeting of the Malahide/Howth Area Committee and called for closer co-operation between the local authority and gardaí to solve the problem.
Cllr Alan Farrell (FG) agreed saying: ‘The evidence is on the beach every single Saturday and Sunday morning with cans and bottles lying around and it’s something we should be concerned about.’
Director of Services in the council’s Community Recreation and Amenities Department, Senan Turnbull said that the bye-laws outlawing public drinking were on the books and it was up to the gardaí to enforce them.
Cllr Coyle agreed and said: ‘We have got to get the message out that no one is allowed drink on the beach. It doesn’t matter who they are.’
Mr Turnbull said the public had a role too and had to change their attitude to drinking in public.
Cllr Farrell agreed and said: ‘If you see people breaking the law and it is the law, then phone the gardaí.’
The issue was also discussed at a recent meeting of the Joint Policing Committee where gardaí said that there was no need for constant policing in the area but they were ready to respond when the need arises.
By John Manning Fingal Independent 28/03/2007