What to do in the evening?
Published – Imokilly People – Thursday, April 19th 2007.
As a young person in Midleton it is often difficult to find something to do with friends. There is only so many times that you can go to the cinema in the same week without getting tired of it and other than that there is not much to do in the town.
Despite the fact that the population of Midleton is rapidly growing the services in the town for young people still seem to be years behind. The problem of finding something to do is especially difficult if you are under age. There are many pubs in Midleton, but if you are under 18 there is not enough to do on a Friday night.
I conducted a survey amongst a group of people aged 15-18. I did this to try and find out what their feelings were and also to see what services they would like in the town. When asked if they were happy with the services for young people in Midleton, 100% of the group I asked said that they were not happy. This answer was to be expected and after this I asked a list of questions in order to investigate what the group were unhappy with.
First I had to find out how often the young people in the group socialised with their friends. 67% of the group said that they go out at least twice a week and the others said that they go out every night. This was a clear indication that this group of young people were a good group to ask about the services in Midleton. I followed this by asking if any of them ever used Fat Alberts the pool hall when it was open, I thought that maybe since its closure young people had less places to spend their time but only a small minority of the group stated that they ever used this facility.
While the new cinema in the Market Green is said to be the answer to all young peoples problems most of the group said that the cost of the cinema was far too expensive for them to go there on a regular basis. I was curious as to what facility these young people would value most if it was in Midleton and 83% of the group questioned
indicated that they would make the most use out of bowling facilities if they were available in the town. While this would be costly to set up it is not like the young people are asking for a 10 story casino and golf course. Surely something could be done to facilitate the young people’s needs. There are currently plans to set up a Youth Café in the town but as Maureen McCarthy organiser of the organisation responsible for this said “this is a long way from being possible”. These plans for the Youth Café have been set up by a group of parents and students who have formed an organisation in order to try and tackle the problem of under age drinking in the town. This is a growing problem in the country with young people in Ireland and statistics from drinkaware.ie which aims to tackle this problem show that
“32% of 15 and 16-year-olds had binge drunk three or more times in the previous month’’.
This is one problem which became clear when conducting my survey. While I had not asked any questions in relation to underage drinking many of the young people indicated that this was a problem in the town. They also showed that it was in some part a due to the lack of facilities for young people in the town. Of those surveyed many clearly showed the extent of the problem with one 15 year old saying; “most of the local young are more concerned about going out drinking than doing anything legal, because there is nothing for young people to do at night.” I think that this is all that needs to be said to show that there is a problem in the town.
Many of the young people also said that they didn’t like going to places like Bartizan because they “didn’t like the people there”. This is also a problem in the town. No matter what services and facilities there are in the town there are going to be groups of young people that don’t like other group’s young people. We are talking about 15-18 year olds and they cannot understand that they should just be friends with everyone. This would be the ideal but it is certainly not the reality. This shows the need for many different facilities in the town. This way more young people could be catered for and hopefully this would mean less young people on the streets at night.
Something needs to be done to help the young people of Midleton and it has to be done fast in order to tackle the problems in the town. Already several young people are being arrested on a regular basis in places like Tesco for being drunk and causing trouble. Do we really want this to be the Midleton of the future? If not action needs to be taken before it is too late.