Judge concerned by teen alcohol access

AT Monday’s sitting of Edenderry District Court, Judge Catherine Staines voiced her concerned that young people in the region have so much access to alcohol.

AT Monday’s sitting of Edenderry District Court, Judge Catherine Staines voiced her concerned that young people in the region have so much access to alcohol.

Judge Staines was dealing with a juvenile case when she observed that she has seen a lot of young people with access to alcohol since she was appointed to the district which covers Laois and Offaly.

She heard that a 16 year old had been under the influence of alcohol when Gardai arrested him after he caused more than €2,000 damage to a shop in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The teenager, who is charged with burglary and criminal damage at Moll’s Sweetshop, Downshire, Edenderry told the court that he’d had gotten the alcohol from a friend who bought it in a local off-licence.

He said he had breached his curfew on the night because he was stressed following the death of a friend and the court was shown physical evidence of recent self-harm.

The court heard his parents are very concerned for him.

Judge Staines adjourned the boy’s case to allow him get treatment at the Aislinn Centre and from his GP.

She warned him, however that he must take court orders seriously and that if he breaches bail again, she will have to remand him in custody.

“You need to talk to someone about your problems with your friend dying,” she advised, telling him that alcohol won’t sort out his problems.

She drew his attention to the damage he had caused and the ‘mess’ he’d gotten himself into.

She proposed that the issue of the sale of alcohol to minors should be brought up at the annual licensing court.

She told Inspector Kieran Keyes that the issue of teenage access to alcohol is a matter of concern to her.