TRADITIONAL seaside resort Ballybunion is to ‘rebrand’ its image, following bad experiences with a drink-fuelled event that attracted hordes of young people to the town on Monday nights.
Monday Night Madness, which lured in huge crowds of people in their teens and 20s from many parts of Munster, is to be abandoned, following an outcry from angry local residents.
Elderly people, in particular, claimed they could not sleep and were in fear of drunken revellers running amok at all hours, with rampant antisocial behaviour and fighting on the streets.
A halt has now been called to the event by the organisers, mainly drawn from the Ballybunion licensed trade.
One Ballybunion publican said it wasn’t worth the effort because of all the negative publicity it was bringing to the town.
At the height of Monday Night Madness, it was reckoned upwards of 3,000 people were coming to the resort, with many arriving in buses.
Pádraig Hanrahan, director of Ballybunion Development Company, yesterday said the north Kerry resort would now be rebranded as a family destination.
He said existing facilities, including the Tinteán Theatre, the €5.2 million leisure centre, beaches and the world-famous Ballybunion golf links would be used to attract visitors.
Nightclubs in the town are no longer applying for Monday night exemptions and businesses are hoping a more laid-back atmosphere, on Saturday nights, will compensate in some way for the loss of trade on the money-spinning Monday nights.
Ballybunion-based Sinn Féin councillor Robert Beasley said the financial shortfall could be made up by concentrating on the resort’s “traditional charms”.
Ending Monday Night Madness was a good decision, he felt, because it got out of hand.
“I believe Ballybunion’s traditional attractions can be brought to the fore again and more families will be encouraged to come here,” Mr Beasley said.
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