By ANN MURPHY Security Correspondent
GIVE us more facilities and we won’t clog up the city centre.
That was the message from teenagers this weekend after concerns were expressed through the Evening Echo by businesses and gardaí about the number of young people congregating in Cork city centre every Saturday in recent weeks.
Evan Bradley is one of hundreds of teenagers who head into the city every Saturday afternoon.
The 17-year-old from Gurranabraher acknowledged that the number of teens congregating had swelled in recent weeks and accepted that he had seen unsavoury behaviour among a small number.
But he said: “There is nowhere else to go to meet our friends. We don’t feel welcome in parks or cinemas either. Yes, there is a large volume of teenagers meeting up in the city centre and it is getting bigger in recent weeks. But there are no facilities. ”
The view was echoed by Teresa Caton, who is the chairwoman of the Cork City District branch of Foróige, the leading youth organisation in Ireland.
She said society needs to look at how it deals with young people, particularly facilities provided for them.
“There is nowhere else for young people to go. There are no facilities for them. Society as a whole needs to look at this — not just parents.”
Chairwoman of the Cork city joint policing committee, Cllr Patricia Gosch, said young people had been failed in Ireland if they are not interested in sports.
She said: “When I go abroad, I see that young people are so much better looked after with facilities than we are here.”
She said she intends to raise the issue at the next meeting of the Cork city joint policing committee.