Sorry we don’t serve under 65’s…

Posted: April 17, 2010 in Random Ramblings

This again, is a functional writing question that I wrote for english, it was originally a formal letter with lots of “Dear Sir’s” and “Yours sincerelies” but I edited it to make it more essay-like and blog friendly. Enjoy!

Is anyone, like me, sick of bouncers, barmen and guards who are painting a worse picture of young people than ever? When my parents were growing up, they weren’t allowed go to nightclubs because of their parents strict ruling. However, legally from the age of eighteen they could have walked into any bar and purchased alcohol and should have been legally admitted to nightclubs. However the latest trend in nightclubs and bars is that the legal age is going up! Constitutionally, legally, I am an adult at the age of eighteen, but more and more, I am seeing bars and clubs who do not serve or admit under 23’s! Some people are beginning to think that the legal age for the consumption of alcohol should be raised to 23 in Ireland.

I would have to admit that although an over 23 age limit has been successfully implemented in countries such as the United States, I do not feel it is a suitable policy in Ireland. The legal system in America is implemented with precision, making underage  drinking a near impossibility. Our law is not implemented nearly as well. The level of underage drinking and “bushdrinking” is already extremely high in Ireland. What is the use of extending this practice to the eighteen to twenty-three year old bracket?

We must remember that the period between 18-23 are very important in a young person’s formative years. It is important to start giving young people responsibility as they move into their adult lives. But how can we give them responsibility if we do not trust them to control the amount of alcohol they consume? After all, at the age of 18, a young person may legally vote for representatives in government. At 17 (an effective child) may legally engage in sexual activity and even get married, while at 18 a young adult can get a loan from a bank or even a mortgage to buy a house! If they can make THESE decisions, why not the decision to drink alcohol in a bar or not?

It must also be considered that at this time, young people are facing the most difficult and trying years of their lives, having to spend much of their time studying for the leaving cert, or for exams in college. It is highly important that the youth of today have an outlet when they do have free time. It is unfair to assume, based on the actions of a small few, that young people will participate in antisocial behaviour if allowed into these establishments.

If we wish to teach  young people to be good citizens and develop them into well-rounded people, we should not exclude them from having the fun that the rest of the “responsible adults” enjoy. I hope you will consider my opinions and take them into account if you are one of these people who finds themselves thinking “those damn kids” too often. Remember, despite the fact that it might have been years ago, you were all children at some stage and you would have loved to be treated with respect when you were young, instead of the disdain you were shown and that which we still show to young people today!

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