Tuesday, July 19, 2011

young people & alcohol related death



Teenager Sean McNair is missing in the sea off the coast of Donegal. Apparently he and some friends were down the pub celebrating a mate's 18th birthday & in the early hours of the morning they decided it would be a good idea to go for a swim off the pier in Rathmullan. I was in Rathmullan a few weeks ago when I was on holidays in Donegal. There were teenagers jumping off the pier that day also. But that was in daylight & they were all wearing wetsuits. Even then, when they climbed out after the brief swim back to the ladder, they were shivering.

I think it would be safe to presume that Sean & his friends hadn't brought wetsuits with them down to the pub that night. This is starting to look like the beginning of a very hard time for his family & friends.

I wonder when we're are going to start looking seriously at the serious dangers alcohol brings in its wake. I'm not suggesting that Sean had been drinking. He was under-age & I'm going to assume that the staff of the pub in Rathmullan were responsible people and did not serve Sean any alcohol. I'm not even suggesting that his pals slipped him a few cans when no one was loking. But the whole affair is suggestive of a group of young people, most of whom had been drinking, getting a little exited and doing something that was really dangerous without thinking through the possible consequences. That drink was a factor here seems without a doubt.

Our children & young people are precious. The reports are that more of them die from alcohol than from anything else. When are we as a society going to start behaving as if we believed that by doing something about the grip that alcohol has on modern Ireland?

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