‘Our teens need alcohol-free facilities’

YOUNG people in Kerry need facilities where they can relax and enjoy themselves without alcohol.

The call was made amid concerns about the suspected abuse of alcohol by some young people.

Concerns were raised recently after a 15-year-old girl collapsed on the side of the street in Killarney after reportedly taking too much drink. The teenager had to be hospitalised.

She was detained overnight at Kerry General Hospital in Tralee and discharged the following day.

Killarney councillor Tom Doherty called on the town council to set money aside in its upcoming budget for a youth café, which would be a much-needed place for teenagers to ‘hang out’.

Facilities could include a pool table, music room, PlayStation and internet access, the Fianna Fáil councillor suggested.

“Young people want their own space, a place that’s stress-free and alcohol-free,” Mr Doherty stated.

Other councillors, however, pointed out that there were already little-used facilities for young people at the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service and St Mary’s Parish Hall, both in Killarney.

South Kerry Independent Alliance councillor Michael Gleeson said young people should be encouraged to make greater use of already available facilities.

He also hit out at the practice whereby youthful members of teams were brought to pubs with silver cups to celebrate sporting successes.

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