Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ritchie branded a ‘disgrace’ after rejecting call for action on underage drinking

1 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Children and Young People's Spokesperson, Sue Ramsey MLA has branded the Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie a 'total disgrace' after the Minister rejected calls for action on underage and on-street drinking.

Ms Ramsey said:

"Underage drinking and on-street drinking is one of the biggest issues in our communities. Communities are suffering from anti-social behaviour and violence.

"There is massive health, emotional and social damage being done to our communities because of the way that alcohol is consumed on our streets.

"We need to take action to tackle this drinking culture and binge drinking. This means that within communities we need people to take responsibility and within the Executive Ministers need to show political leadership.

"The refusal of the Social development Minster Margaret Ritchie to give any support for community based initiatives to tackle alcohol misuse on our streets is a real kick in the teeth to local communities that are looking for leadership.

"The response of Margaret Ritchie to this important issue is a total disgrace. We have representatives from the licensed traders prepared to give a bigger commitment than her to resolving this.

"There is no one single solution but we need to come at the problem in a variety of ways. It means looking at how people purchase alcohol. It means looking at how alcohol is sold and marketed; and it means supporting vital community based initiatives that provide education, advice, counselling and intervention." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin