SDLP Cancels "Irresponsible" Pub Crawl

The SDLP has been forced to apologise following news that its youth-wing organised a cheap pub crawl for students.

The £1-a-drink pub crawl was advertised through promotions on the party’s Twitter site and through leaflets being handed out to first year Queen’s University students attending this week’s Freshers’ Fair.

Flyers handed out by the youth wing offered "3 for £5 on bottled beers", a "shots ladder" and "£1 shots" of spirits such as Jaegermeister, Sourz and Aftershock.

The event, which was due to begin at The Eg on Belfast's Malone Road, has been cancelled, but it seems the action is too little, too late for the party, which had only recently spoken out on Northern Ireland’s binge drinking culture.

The death of 20-year-old Belfast man Joby Murphy in January led to calls for a rethink on Northern Ireland’s drinking culture. The man died after he fell into the Lagan.

Mr Murphy’s father blamed cheap drink deals following revelations he had been drinking £1 shots of vodka at a Belfast bar.

In March the SDLP’s Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced he wanted to "get tough" on cheap drinks promotions and suggested making it more difficult for those venues offering such deals to obtain an entertainments licence.

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey said the SDLP Youth pub crawl ran "contrary to the Environment Minister Alex Attwood’s promise to stamp out such promotions and curtail binge drinking.

"It is not only totally irresponsible but also shows poor leadership by the party", he said.

In a statement issued last night, a spokesman for the SDLP told the Belfast Telegraph the distribution of the flyer had been ill-judged.

"The drinks promotions listed on the flyer were those being hosted at the Eg and were not arranged by SDLP Youth," he said.

“Nevertheless SDLP Youth recognises the issue of this flyer was an error of judgment and has cancelled the event."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 January 2020
Man Shot In West Belfast
A man has been hospitalised following a shooting in west Belfast. The attack happened in the Burnaby Walk area at around 5.55pm on Monday afternoon, 13 January. The victim is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds to his knee and foot. Police have launched an appeal for information.
14 January 2020
Justice Minister Condemns West Belfast Shooting
Justice Minister Naomi Long has demanded an end to paramilitary style attacks in the wake of a shooting in west Belfast that left a man with life changing injuries. An incident in the Burnaby Walk area at around 6pm on Monday 13 January left a 39 year-old man with gunshot wounds to his knee and ankle.
14 January 2020
£45m Allocated To 18 NI Schools
Northern Ireland's new Education Minister has committed £45 million to 18 local schools in need of investment. The School Enhancement Programme will deliver capital funds to twelve primary schools, five post-primary schools and one special school to deliver the site improvements they have been crying out for.
14 January 2020
UUP: Flybe 'Crucial' To NI Activity
Flybe is crucially important to the connectivity of Northern Ireland, Ulster Unionist Leader Steve Aiken has warned. The UK Government is under pressure to save the commercial airline amid fears of the company's collapse due to rising losses. Flybe operates 14 routes from Belfast City Airport, more than is offered by any other airline.
14 January 2020
Man Jailed For Drugs Offences
A 36 year-old man from west Belfast will spend over a year behind bars for a number of drug related offences. John Paul McGuinness was handed a custodial sentence at Belfast Crown Court on Monday 13 January following the seizure of cocaine worth approximately £20,000. He will serve 32 months, half of which is to be spent on licence.