New drink storm over Queen's Students' Union 'three for £5' offer
Queen's Students' Union has been criticised for promoting cheap drink deals in the midst of the 'NekNomination' booze craze.
Revellers at tonight's Refreshers Foam Party in Belfast will be able to buy three measures of spirits for £5 or a double vodka and Red Bull for £4.
The cheap drink promotions were advertised on the SU's website and Facebook pages just days after reports fatalities due to the craze known as 'NekNomination'.
When contacted by the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, the Students' Union said that most spirits would be on offer tonight, including three shots of Morgan's or Barcardi rum for £5.
SDLP South Belfast MP Alasdair McDonnell said: "These type of promotions offering selected drinks '3 for £5' will only tempt people to drink more than they normally would and, in some cases, to dangerous levels.
"In light of the dangerous online craze NekNomination that hit the headlines at the weekend, I think the time has come to review cheap alcohol promotions to tackle the scourge that no doubt goes some way to fuelling alcohol-related disorder."
The former GP added that while he did not want to be a killjoy, he believed that "bargain booze promotions only encourage harmful binge drinking".
A Public Health Agency spokeswoman said: "The most irresponsible promotions are those which encourage people to drink more and faster.
"We would encourage people not to become involved with drinks promotions which can increase the risk to their health." Pubs of Ulster, the membership body for the licensed trade, encouraged the reporting of public concerns about promotions.
Chief Executive Colin Neill said: "As the representative body of the licensed trade in Northern Ireland, we strongly discourage any practice that could promote the misuse or abuse of alcohol."
No-one was available at Queen's SU to comment on its policies and advice on responsible drinking to students and whether it had any offer limits on the drinks promotion in place.