Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Belfast bar withdraws £25 ‘all you can drink’ promotion

A Belfast bar which ran an ‘all you can drink for £25’ deal has withdrawn the promotion after a backlash of criticism.

The Library Bar, which had intended to run the drinks deal every Friday night in September, yesterday announced its decision to drop it.

The move comes after mounting criticism and damning photographs which last week showed people too drunk to stand and others vomiting in the street.

Reports of rows inside and outside the venue, as well as patrons being able to buy more than their share of two drinks per person each time they went to the bar, also emerged.

Owner John Sherry said he now accepts the promotion was not “best practice”, and backs the responsible sale of alcohol in Northern Ireland. Colin Neill, chief executive of trade body Pubs of Ulster, said he accepted Mr Sherry had been trying to protect his business and was not being “intentionally negligent”.

In August Mr Sherry defended his promotion, claiming it was borne of economic necessity.

“I’m just trying to attract people back with a good offer, and I’m trying to keep those who work for me in jobs,” he said.

He said bars were being hit badly by people choosing to stay at home to drink.

Social Development Minister Alex Attwood yesterday welcomed the end of the “irresponsible” drink promotion, and said the “right arguments, public concerns and a strong lead within government and the license trade has prevailed”.

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