Belfast Telegraph

Police anger over drunken pupils at pre-formal pub bash in Co Down

By Nevin Farrell

Police say they were unable to attend other calls as they were looking after drunken teenagers - some said to be just 15 - in a Co Down village.

The group of teenagers had to be monitored by police who asked a pub to immediately bring a so-called pre-formal to a close.

A PSNI spokeswoman confirmed police attended a bar in Waringstown at around 10.30pm on Tuesday, October 28.

Up to 150 people, many alleged to have been under the age of 18, were reported to have been present at The Planters pub/restaurant. The PSNI in Craigavon used its Facebook social media page to report it had the "sad task of removing a number of underaged children from licensed premises in Waringstown".

It stated: "Sad because some of these teenagers (as young as 15) were quite clearly drunk. We do not want to spoil anyone's fun but the fact is that it is illegal to consume alcohol when you are under the age of 18 and it is illegal for licensed premises to serve alcohol when you are under 18."

The Facebook statement added: "While at the premises we were able to see adults dropping teenagers off. We were then tied up and unable to respond to other calls as we waited with the children for parents to pick them up. The licensee was asked to close proceedings immediately.

"This may seem like a harmless event for teenagers, but when alcohol is involved, everyone becomes a little more vulnerable and events can take place that spiral out of control quickly.

"A number of those attending used fake identification to gain entry - this is an offence and criminal convictions can have long lasting consequences on work, travel and education opportunities. Police are now conducting an investigation into this matter." The Planters was contacted for a comment, but by last night had not responded to our calls.

On Facebook some said they had sympathy with the plight of people in the drinks trade.

One person said: "In fairness, the people who work in licensed premises have a difficult job discerning what age our young people are. Many 13-year-old girls look age 25+ with a bit of make-up.

"For that reason it is up to us parents to look out for the signs of alcohol use in our under 18s!"

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