Junior Cert celebrations in Carrick-on-Shannon resulted in one youth being knocked down, another receiving serious facial injuries as a result of an assault while a number of others were hospitalised for alcohol related complaints.
It is understood 24 gardai were in operation on the night while seven ambulances were deployed.
Gardai in Carrick-on-Shannon have also renewed their appeal for a member of the public, believed to be a woman from Leitrim Village, who phoned them on the night of the Junior Cert celebrations, Wednesday, September 12 to make contact with them again.
Shortly after the call was received from this woman a 16 year old boy from east Galway was struck by a car on the R280, close to the entrance to Cartown at 9.45pm. The youth was transferred by ambulance to Sligo General Hospital with injuries which were described at the time as “not life threatening” and he was later released.
Gardai are also investigating a serious assault that occurred inside the premises resulting in one youth sustaining what was described as a “serious facial injury.”
Ahead of the results night celebrations Gardai in Carrick-on-Shannon put in place an operation with the assistance of joint Garda divisions, while a total of 24 Gardai were on duty at the event.
The celebrations in Cartown attracted a crowd in the region of 1,500 and resulted in a police operation that saw checkpoints carried out on buses coming in to Carrick-on-Shannon and were also carried out in Roscommon Town, Strokestown, Boyle, Manorhamilton, Sligo, Ballyshannon, Ballymote, Longford, Arva, Cavan and Ballyconnell. Gardai were made aware of the various pick up points and seized “a lot of alcohol” while two 53 seater buses were ordered to turn back as a result of some of the passengers being intoxicated.
In what was not only a busy night for members of An Garda Siochana it is also understood that up to seven ambulances were deployed on the night in question to attend to people needing attention while celebrating their Junior Cert results.
A Garda spokesperson reported, “An amount of children were treated for alcohol related complaints, some of whom were hospitalised.”
Despite the issues encountered on the night, Gardai stressed the problems were caused by a very small minority of those who attended.
“From a Garda point of view the percentage of problematic patrons was miniscule but the problems that arose were significant. One problem can result in a full ambulance crew being required as well as up to two Garda personnel as the patrons requiring attention have to be supervised.”
Giving an indication of the size of the crowd that descended on Carrick-on-Shannon for the Junior Cert celebrations the Garda spokesperson said, “The operation finished at 1.30am. There was huge traffic congestion, it was like a football match but we’d get them out of Pairc Sean quicker.”
Anyone who may be able to assist Gardai with their enquiries in relation to the youth who was struck by a car is asked to contact Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station at (071) 9620021.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Management of Cartown said, “I’m glad to say that the vast majority of those attending discos are driven there by parents. However others do arrive unescorted on buses and this does present an opportunity to consume alcohol. It is here that we exercise most vigilance as we employ a zero alcohol tolerance which means that some will be refused entry.
“We double the security on duty versus normal disco s and pay towards the provision of extra Gardai on the night. Social responsibility is something we are very aware of and work in accordance with the Gardai to enforce this.
“We make no request for ambulances for discos as this is done at the discretion of the Gardai and on this particular night to our knowledge only two ambulances were used.
“To enforce optimum control, all the tickets are sold prior to the event through Ticket Master. The Cartown Facebook page clearly and repeatedly explained that it was a ‘ticket only event’ and that admission would not be granted for anyone turning up without a ticket. It explicitly said “Tickets for Junior Cert results night in Cartown are SOLD OUT. This event is a TICKET ONLY event.
“Please do not arrive at the venue if you do not have a ticket as entry will be refused.”
“It was also mentioned on Shannonside that the event was sold out.
“The vast majority of those attending the discos are fantastic, well behaved, polite young people who are out to enjoy themselves and in this case celebrate their exam success. And we do everything possible, together with our team, to ensure that this happens. Unfortunately there is always a few who create problems and we do our very best to manage all situations in the most professional manner. We are fully aware that the youth of today are our customers of tomorrow.”