29/02/2008

UK Pub Chain Reneges On Derry 'Binge' Drinking Deal

There's said to be cheap pints-a-plenty in UK national pub chain Wetherspoons which has allegedly gone back on a deal to stop selling cheap alcohol in Londonderry.

Local SDLP councillor Helen Quigley said she was angry Wetherspoons 'dropped out' of a council campaign on binge drinking.

The company originally signed up to an agreement on drinks' promotions as a condition of getting entertainment licences at both its Derry bars, but it has given up the licences.

Eddie Gershon from Wetherspoons said it was a commercial decision and has denied it would have any negative impact on the city.

"We have a UK-wide promotion and it had more drinks on offer than the protocol allowed.

"That is why we took the decision to give up our entertainment licence and we don't feel in any way it will cause a problem in Derry," Mr Gershon said.

"Our prices are competitive but not cheap and we are a responsible pub owner. The thought of someone coming in just to save 20p who thinks they can drink as much as they want is not the case. We wouldn't allow it," he said.

Ms Quigley accused Wetherspoons of pursuing a deliberate policy to continue to sell cheap drink: "I think it is quite shameful and disgraceful," she said.

"Wetherspoons are clearly out of synch with the rest of the city."

(BMcC)


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