Number of teens drinking before Cookstown gigs is falling

Clubland on Molesworth Street runs discos for 13 to 17-year-olds
Clubland on Molesworth Street runs discos for 13 to 17-year-olds
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The numbers of teenagers having to be cared for at Teen Clubland as a result of drinking alcohol is reducing according to the venue's owner.

The Mail reported earlier in the week how 25 teenagers are heading on a police alcohol awareness course following their antics at Friday night's sold out Basshunter gig at the venue.

But Patrick Scullion, who owns and runs the club, said this was just a small number of the 1,100 that enjoyed the the club's "top class entertainment in an alcohol free environment".

He told the Mail: "On Friday past (March 3) approximately 1,100 teenagers attended Teen Clubland Disco, and out of that number a small percentage of teenagers arrived at the venue who had alcohol consumed.

"In accordance with our company policy which has been developed in close partnership with both the local PSNI and Cookstown’s Street Angels, these teenagers were taken to a separate room in the venue where they are looked after and cared for until their parents came to collect them."

He went on to say that the health and safety of the venue's patrons is their "foremost priority" and that the club has "policy designed to ensure that no teenagers with alcohol consumed were turned back onto the street and left to fend for themselves".

Now, they are cared for in what the teenagers themselves call "the sick room" while authorities contact their parents who are asked to come and collect them.

Mr Scullion went on to say: "Of course whilst it is regrettable that a small number of teenagers are partaking of alcohol, the venue has worked tirelessly with different groups to limit the number of minors engaging in this activity, from no alcohol on buses campaigns, social media activity highlighting the dangers and unacceptability of under-age drinking to liaising with community police and parents to limit this activity.

"To date we have seen a reduction in this activity," he added, "but we continue to ensure that all children who come to the venue are cared for and get home safely, and going forward this will remain our priority.

"We feel that we should point out that the overwhelming majority of the teenagers who attend these events are here purely for top class entertainment in an alcohol free environment."