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Vintners Federation suggests ban on supermarket alcohol to tackle illegal shebeens

By Sarah Finnan

July 16, 2020 at 3:25pm

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According to the head of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, government should look into banning the sale of alcohol in supermarkets as a way of stopping illegal house parties and shebeens from happening around the country.

Speaking to on radio this morning, Head of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), Padraig Cribben reacted to the news that pubs will not be allowed to reopen on July 20th as originally planned.

Saying that VFI members were"gobsmacked" by the decision, Mr Cribben agreed that while the public guidelines and advice should be followed, the public health evidence shows that an increase in cases is down to two things - travel and house parties. Commenting on the matter, he said:

"In reality, there is nothing that has been done yesterday to address either of those issues. And I fear that we're going to end up three weeks down the road working on the basis that things will change."

He later added:

“The real issue that we are seeing around the country is we are seeing house parties and we are actually seeing quite a growth in illegal shebeens growing up around the country.

And here's the question, if government are really serious and if they're really serious about tackling the house parties, I think that they've really got to look at whether they are going to allow alcohol to continue to be sold in supermarkets."

Asked whether he's suggesting that the government should consider prohibition, Cribben said:

“I am asking that question because if the issue is around house parties and if the issue is around young people congregating, I am asking that question.

Because if that is where the issue is emanating from, you've got to tackle where the issue is coming from."

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