Kerry parents encouraged to take their teenagers to the pub

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Parents in Co Kerry will be encouraged to take their teenage children to the pub to teach them to drink sensibly.

From The Irish Times

The pilot scheme, backed by the Kerry branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland and some teachers, is due to be introduced at Christmas.

Publicans who participate will hold promotional events aimed at parents and their 18- and 19-year-old children. The project is designed to tackle the culture of young people drinking fast to get drunk and drinking before they go out at night.

VFI Kerry chairman Ger Counihan said he accepted the campaign would be controversial. However, he added: “The amount of alcohol being consumed by young people is frightening. We have to educate them on how to drink or we will have more trouble down the line.”

Cheap alcohol in off-licences is a factor, he said. “As long as a can of beer is cheaper than a bar of chocolate, we’ve got a problem.”

Mr Counihan accepted the vintners had a vested interest in the campaign, but he stressed there was also a social element.

John O’Donovan, ASTI principals’ representative and the head of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Ballybunion, said he supported the plan, but it would still not address drinking among younger teenagers.

Those aged between 14 and 18 were of particular concern and teachers had seen them falling asleep in class from hangovers, he said. Referring to older teenagers, he added: “It would be lovely for them to drink in the pub with their parents as a family together, sitting down together and having a chat.”