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16th Aug 2022

Former Green Party election candidate calls for a temporary ban of stag and hen parties in Ireland

Hugh Carr

green party stag hen party ban

“There needs to be, to a certain extent, a moratorium drawn on this now by the authorities and the Gardaí.”

A former Green Party election candidate in Leitrim has called for a “moratorium”, or a temporary ban, on stag and hen parties in Ireland.

The call for the ban follows the death of Paul ‘Babs’ Connolly in Westmeath over the weekend, who was assaulted while on a stag party in Athlone.

Leslie O’Hora called for those who organise such parties to “take responsibility” while speaking on Ocean FM on Tuesday morning (16 August).

“To those who have lost loved ones due to stag and hen parties, my heart goes out to them,” O’Hora said.

“In many cases, because of the nature of these [parties], they’re relatively young people, young parents with families and children… I can’t imagine what they’re going through.

“There needs to be, to a certain extent, a moratorium drawn on this now by the authorities and the Gardaí.

“Stag and hen parties, by their very nature, they’re binging sessions, they go on for quite [some] period of time.

“They’re also weather dependent, to the extent that if it’s a rainy day, they stay in the pub and don’t venture out for activities they may have planned.

“They also pub crawl, and I thought we had finished with the pub crawl, but in fact, unfortunately, it’s alive and well.”

O’Hora described the job market for stag and hen parties as “shadowy”, and suggested that those who seek to work in the industry should look elsewhere.

“God knows there’s lots of really decent jobs in the north-west that could be provided if people changed their focus elsewhere, whether it be the likes of Abbott Ireland (a pharmaceutical company based in Sligo), or other healthcare facilities where there’s just loads of opportunities, and loads of people offering really decent jobs,” he said.

“So it’s not all just about what’s politely called the hospitality industry.”

O’Hora has previously spoken about the impact of stag and hen parties in Carrick-on-Shannon.

In an article published in the Irish Times in 2018, he said: “We have a population of 4,000 but get an extra 1,000 every weekend, most of them well-behaved but some obviously boisterous.

“Families will not come into town if there are people marching up and down the streets carrying inflatables and bottles and glasses.”

O’Hora argued that only a handful of “superpubs” benefitted economically from the trade provided by hen and stag parties and added of their impact on the town: “It’s a beautiful town with fantastic hotels, 20 restaurants and some lovely boutique shops, but it is destroyed at weekends.”

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