Underage drinking an issue

Licencees who sold alcohol to girl (16) warned by Gardai

A 16-year-old girl was successful in buying alcohol in five of eight premises in Ashbourne and Ratoath that were visited as part of a test purchasing operation by Gardai. 

The licencees of the five premises where alcohol was sold to the under-age girl were recently brought in to a meeting in Ashbourne Garda Station and cautioned.
Superintendent Jim Cannon said they were satisfied that the licencees wouldn't have knowingly permitted staff to sell alcohol and he put it down to a lack of training and a lack of awareness among staff. "We have asked them to put this in order and they have undertaken to do that. We will run a similar operation in the coming weeks to test compliance and if there are any repeat offenders we will take prosecutions," he said.
He said Gardai continue to be concerned at the level of under-age drinking particularly in public places and said that as the evenings get longer, it will be come more prevalent.
While there is always a baseline level which is worse at weekends, he said that summer when the schools are off is the worst time and there are also issues at Halloween time. 
"As soon as the days start to get longer it become more prevalent. We are endeavouring to do what we can regarding enforcement and are reminding licencees that they must stick to their obligations. Where we find non co-operation we will prosecute."
Supt Cannon said overall, for licencees themselves it is not in their interest to serve alcohol to under-age but that training and awareness among staff has to be improved. "We hope licencees will adopt a much more stringent approach with their staff in relation to the selling of alcohol to under-age people."