A rugby tournament in Kinsale in Co Cork has been given permission to go ahead, but only on condition that it erects public warnings about the dangers of being caught with cocaine, following a slew of prosecutions in recent years.
The organisers of the annual Kinsale Rugby Sevens tournament, which brings thousands of people to the popular tourist town, must place signs at the rugby grounds and in the town, Judge James McNulty ordered at Bandon District Court.
“While we are not dealing with children, we are dealing with young adults and, just like older adults, they need to be aware of the boundaries and the consequences,” the judge declared. “Given the history of offending in and around this event, primarily the misuse of drugs, the court wishes to heighten awareness.”
The popular tournament, sometimes known as Kinsale Sevens By The Sea, is one of the most popular sevens’ competitions in Europe, attracting teams from around the world to compete in men’s, women’s and veteran competitions.
Examples of prototype signage were shown by the judge to the solicitor for the Kinsale Sevens organisers, Tony Greenway, which concentrate on the effect a drugs conviction could have on an individual’s career prospects and travel plans.
Judge McNulty’s conditions follow a number of prosecutions for cocaine possession in the town following previous competitions and he said he hoped the signage would help to deter young people from drugs which makes “millionaires out of thugs”.
The signs must be prominently displayed at the sevens event, while gardaí can display them elsewhere in the town, too: “They can arrange to display it wherever they see fit,” he said.