Irish emigrants to Australia are being warned that their out of control drinking is causing huge problems for residents in Bondi beach, a hugely popular destination outside Sydney for Irish emigrants.

Over 22,000 Irish have gone to the area seeking jobs and the nightlife that features 24-hour bars. The Irish are so numerous the area is being called County Bondi.

"They are young, they are out late, they are drinking hard, many are taking drugs, they are away from home and they are often making noise well into the night at 24-hour bars. Trouble is always going to happen," Billy Cantwell, editor of the Sydney-based Irish Echo newspaper, told the Irish Independent.

"Often on a Saturday night in the nearby A&E, you could have an Irish nurse treating an Irish patient," added Cantwell.

Patricia Murphy, marketing and entertainments manager at the Cock'N'Bull bar at Bondi Junction, agrees with Cantwell that there is a problem.

She said: "The vast majority are well behaved, but there is always an ongoing issue with noise late at night. We have a considerable security team who are there to prevent violence but that is not always possible and at times punches are thrown. But we take the issue very seriously and we want to ensure our customers enjoy themselves."

A local police source said: "Most weekends there are problems with Irish or British backpackers down around here. Most of it is low- level stuff, but there's a constant disturbance to local residents, which is the source of some anger, and from time to time it does get a bit more serious."

Cantwell said: "I haven't heard of that problem being widespread, but in fairness to them the cops in that area probably deal with their fair share of trouble."

"There is no doubt, many have been told by their parents not to come home because there is nothing to come home to," said Cantwell.

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