At a packed meeting to discuss public disorder in the west Cork town, residents reported seeing “young kids falling around the place drinking out of bottles of vodka” on a Saturday night and complained of street fights, carousing and youngsters urinating and having sex on private property.
“An evil force is taking over the town,” observed GP Dr Fiona O’Reilly, who said she spent a recent Saturday night treating a non-stop series of “assaults, haemorrhaging and bottling injuries.”
The atmosphere in the town on the night was one of “barely suppressed violence,” she said.
“Clonakilty is at a crossroads, and it’s time to call a halt,” said Sinn Féin Cllr Cionnaith Ó Suilleabhain, who organised Monday’s meeting, attended by 150 people.
People aged between 18 and 30 were staggering out of pubs and nightclubs at weekends, he said, while groups of teenagers, “blatantly intoxicated,” roamed the streets and parks.
“It’s a culture of binge-drinking. The thing seems to be to go out, buy drink and get blotto in the shortest time possible.” On Sunday mornings residents awoke to find “vomit and human waste” on their doorsteps, he said, adding that in the past 12-18 months he was getting regular complaints from people about disorderly behaviour.
Resident Margaret Deasy called on parents to take more responsibility for their children saying: “I’ve had kids in my garden having sex, drinking from bottles, urinating and jumping on the trampoline.”
The meeting called for adequate garda foot patrols, for gardaí to be more pro-active in targeting people selling drink to teenagers and to enforce parking regulations.
Supt Pat Maher said extra garda resources were deployed every weekend. From this weekend, there would be 16 uniformed gardaí on outdoor duty.