Hundreds of drunken schoolchildren celebrating their A-level successes turned Belfast into a Hell-level horror show as they went wild on an alcohol-fuelled binge on Thursday night.
All over the city, the youngsters — as well as some kids too young to drink legally — took advantage of cheap shots and spirits in a number of clubs to go from the top of the class to the bottom of the glass within hours.
And paramedics had to be called as a number of paralytic pupils who’d been toasting their passes were later found passed out on the streets of the city centre in the early hours of Friday. “It wasn’t so much school’s out as schoolkids out of their heads,” said one observer.
The depressing picture was repeated in towns and cities all over the UK among what they’re calling the ‘alcopup’ generation and a Sunday Life photographer captured the shocking results of the A-level results mayhem in Belfast as he travelled around the city’s hotspots.
And the photos of the blocked party-goers will stun unsuspecting parents from a generation who barely celebrated examination results at all.
Our photographer used a long lens to record how the raucous revellers — including some under-age drinkers using fake IDs — literally fell out of nightclubs which had advertised special A-level results promotions.
One of the most shocking images is of an 18-year-old girl lying unconscious on the pavement. A panic-stricken friend is seen desperately calling for help on her mobile phone before an ambulance arrives and paramedics rush to the stricken teen’s aid and wheel her away on a stretcher.
Other photographs show scantily-clad girls who are unable to walk being carried in the arms or on the backs of boyfriends.
Other sloshed students are seen fast asleep on windowsills and walls while girls in tight-fitting miniskirts are pictured running without a care — and without shoes — through traffic.
Another photograph shows young men trying to help a clearly distressed friend.
And beside them is a poster hailing a drinks promotion where vodka and Relentless — an energy drink — are on offer at two for a fiver, which would also buy three WKD alcopops.
Beers could be bought for £2 and shots for a pound.
The vast majority of distressed drinkers in our photo
graphs are teenage girls. “The boys tend to be able to hold their drink better,” said one source close to the drinks trade. “And the girls don’t know their limits.”
The ambulance service in Belfast answered 17 calls between 10pm and 2am. Seven of them were drink-related, but it’s not thought there were any serious injuries.
“We would expect to deal with a similar number of calls on a weekend night but not a Thursday. And the ages of the casualties were definitely lower than usual,” said a spokesman.
For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.