Republic of Ireland news

Co Monaghan nightclub breathalysing teens

Teens enjoying the Junior Switch night in Castleblayney

A TEEN-orientated nightclub in Co Monaghan has begun breathalysing customers in a new zero-tolerance approach to under-age drinking.

Junior Switch, a club event operated by Switch nightclub in Castleblayney, is now turning away young people who test positive for alcohol during on-the-door checks.

Aimed at youths between 13 and 17, the Junior Switch nights began in August last year.

December's Xmas Ball event featured an appearance by Geordie Shore star Chloe Ferry, infamous for her drunken antics on the reality television programme.

Junior Switch's new anti-drinking measures were in place for the first time on Friday night at a Valentine's Ball, where a 'clean' breathalyser test became a requirement for entry.

"We have a duty of care to the young people who attend our events and we are taking a zero tolerance approach when it comes to the consumption of alcohol," a spokesman for the club night told the BBC.

"We made it clear that those attending the event would be breathalysed. We then issued refunds to those who no longer wanted to attend.

"We lost about 40 per cent of our usual turn out, but we don't care about the money. We want to ensure that the young people remain safe.

"Parents are thanking us because they don't want their kids in a situation where other kids are drinking and there may be peer pressure for them to do the same."

Youths who fail the club's new breathalyser test are checked by Red Cross and their parents are informed.

They are also asked not to attend future Junior Switch events.

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