Bylaw to be extended to combat street drinking

A harbour town in Co Cork is to extend its anti-street drinking exclusion area to combat so-called “bushing” by gangs of youths.

County solicitor Orla Deasy is to draw up an extension of street drinking bylaws in Cobh under Section 119 of the Local Government Act 2001.

It is currently prohibited within the town council zone. However, much of Cobh (Great Island) is not covered by the anti-street drinking bylaws, said Louise Duffy, chairwoman of Cobh Joint Policing Committee.

Concerns have been raised that the bylaw has simply led youths to congregate on its fringes. The recommendation was made by Cobh JPC and has been accepted by the county council’s JPC.

On-the-spot fines are normally issued by authorised council staff or the gardaí.

However, with a large reduction in the number of people employed by the council, it is likely to fall to gardaí to issue fines when the bylaw is introduced.

Meanwhile, the county manager, Martin Riordan, has said he was “positively disposed” to helping prevent unauthorised bonfire celebrations in Passage West after receiving complaints from that town’s JPC.

Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said last year there were four unauthorised bonfires in the town and they were linked to underage drinking and antisocial behaviour.

He said it cost a lot of money to clean up after such fires and urged the council to prevent bonfires this year by removing material before it was set alight.

He also wants funding from the local authority to organise supervised events.

Mr Riordan said he was willing to assist, but would need community assistance as well, which Mr McGrath said would be forthcoming.


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