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Young boy in Newry attack feared for his life – Networking sites used to promote underage drinking

18 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Fews area Councillor Pat McGinn has said that the young boy attacked in Newry on St Patrick's night feared for his life.

The Councillor, who knows the family said that it had been a terrifying experience for the schoolboy.

Cllr McGinn said:

"The family are very upset. Hopefully young Jason will make a full recovery. That in no way should mask the fact that it was a terrifying ordeal. Neither should it hide the fact that many people including myself are deeply worried about the whole way that random violence most of it drug or alcohol influenced, seems now to be an accepted culture throughout this area. It is not and should never be.

"It also appears that social networking sites were used to encourage young people to come into Newry and meet at the Car Park close to where the incident took place was also a worrying development.

"CAR PARK, NEWRY BESIDE BUTERCRANE ON THE 17TH MARCH EVERY1 B DER ITS GONA B MAD AN THE FUNFAIR WIL B ACROSS THE ROAD!"

"That is the message of encouragement that children as young as 12 received to their sites. There is also a fear that these will now become a regular occurrence in Newry and other areas.

"It is not just acceptable to point the finger at young people for the situation. The night time economy in Newry is centred on Pubs, Clubs and Discos. There is a price that has to be paid for this, and that price at times can be deadly.

"Taxi drivers tell me about the atmosphere of aggression they now feel on the streets when all these places close.

"I also believe that most agencies dealing with drug and alcohol issues and the potential that these substances have for destroying lives need a reality check. Glossy coloured information books pie charts and DVDs may be viewed by some as an impact, but the reality is there is no real focused, sustained, joined up or cohesive strategy to tackle what is a huge issue." ENDS

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