Gardaí called as teenage ball forced to close after 30 minutes

Hundreds turned up to charity event at Co Tipperary hotel with fake or no tickets

A teenage charity ball at Kilcoran Lodge Hotel, outside Cahir, was shut down. Image: Google

A teenage charity ball at Kilcoran Lodge Hotel, outside Cahir, was shut down. Image: Google

 

Gardaí had to be called to a teenage charity ball that had to close down within 30 minutes after hundreds of people turned up with fake or no tickets.

The event at Kilcoran Lodge Hotel outside Cahir, Co Tipperary, was supposed have a maximum of 320 attendees on Friday night, but management say up to 600 arrived on the night - some of them drunk or under the influence of alcohol.

After the doors were closed when the venue was full, some outside attempted to break in and were kicking doors, and two windows were broken.

Gardaí were called to help clear the area. No arrests were made, but it is understood some teenagers suffered minor injuries.

The ball was organised by a number of local teenagers to raise money for charity, with tickets sold for €20.

However, it is understood some people printed fake tickets for themselves or to sell on, while others may have turned up at Kilcoran Lodge for the 8pm start without any tickets.

The event , aimed at those in third year or transition year, attacted people from many local towns including Cahir, Cashel, Thurles, Clonmel and Mitchelstown.

Management at the hotel said no bar was open on the night but that some people arrived with alcoholic drinks or having already consumed alcohol.

“On the night, the concern was that there was too many people . . . and too many of the kids were drinking a lot, and so many parents dropped the kids off themselves,” hotel general manager Miro Jezovica said yesterday.

He said that buses transporting teenagers from places like Thurles and Mitchelstown had people on board who had been drinking.

“Unfortunately, with that many people, that many tickets, we just couldn’t do it,” Mr Jezovica said.

He said the deal with organisers was for 320 people although the venue could potentially hold 400. “When I said ‘stop’, no more people, after 350 people, they started breaking in. With shoes and whatever they had. The guards were called because they needed to help us until the buses came back.”

Mr Jezovica said it was about 25 minutes after the doors opened at 8pm that he made the decision to cancel the event. While six security staff were provided by the hotel on the night, “it would have been enough for 350 people, not for 600”.

Duplicate tickets taken in on the night have been passed on for investigation to the gardaí, who stayed until about midnight to ensure there was no more trouble, but visited the hotel again yesterday [Monday] morning.

“They said we did everything perfectly from our side,” the hotel manager said. “Last year we had a similar event and everything was perfect, but last year the tickets were sold from here.”

There has been considerable controversy locally since the event and its cancellation, with some people seeking refunds and blame being doled out to different parties.

Mr Jezovica said Kilcoran will not be hosting a similar event in future. “I would never take something like this again. It’s not worth it.”