THE organizer of a Roscommon Town teenage disco has “apologized sincerely” to parents who have expressed outrage at their children posing for pictures with semi-naked models, which were uploaded to the Internet.
Almost 500 teenagers attended a recent Christmas disco which was organized by Sonic Ents, a Roscommon-based company. At the event, two scantily dressed females and a male posed for photographs with the teens. More than 500 photographs were later uploaded to the company’s Facebook page.
A spokesperson for the events company explained that the disco was aimed at teenagers from 14 to 18 years old, but accepted that younger people may have gained entry.
“We had a fire and laser show outside as part of the event. The two female entertainers performed fire breathing outside the hotel, but I didn’t know what costumes they were going to be wearing. It was through a promotions company in Dublin that I organized them,” he said.
“It was a Christmas disco, so I wanted a Santa to be there. I didn’t know that he was going to be wearing just a pair of shorts, but I really did not intend to cause any upset and I apologize to any parents who were offended.”
Management at the Abbey Hotel, where the disco was held, also condemned what took place at the teenage event. “We have made our feelings known to the promoter and can assure people that this will not happen again,” said Tom Grealy.
The spokesperson for the organizers maintained that all posters promoting the event advised that there would be photography on the night.
“We’ve had six discos previously and nobody has complained about the pictures being uploaded. If anyone wants to contact us, we can remove them, but it is stated clearly on the adverts for the discos,” he said.
“We work very hard to ensure that those who come along are safe, that there is no alcohol and no fighting. Eight licensed bouncers were hired as well as other staff on duty on the night to ensure the safety of all those who came through the doors.”
New License Rules
MOTORISTS applying for a driving license will have to travel to an approved central depot to have their photograph taken. The move comes in after new regulations came into play this year.
And the cost of a new license will is also set to increase to €55, more than double the current charge of €25.
From September photographs for the new credit card sized license can only be taken by Credit Card Systems, a Dublin-based company appointed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to operate the system nationally.
However, it means that applicants will no longer be able to go to their local pharmacy or local photographer because only images taken by Credit Card Systems will be accepted.
It is understood the company will provide more than one official application point in each county, but it has yet to announce where these will be.
The Irish Pharmacy Union says the change will have a devastating impact on their members with possible job losses.
"It doesn't make sense that you can get a passport photo taken locally by a pharmacist or photographer or even yourself, but now you have to deal with a firm nominated by the RSA to get a driving license picture taken," he said.
The union has called on the RSA to reconsider and allow people have their photograph taken wherever they wish.
"This would ensure that consumer choice and a level playing field prevails in the market," they added.
From the end of next week all first-time learner permits and first-time driving licenses will be issued as a plastic card the size of a credit card.