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Sinn Féin welcome Minister’s to response to underage drinking

6 May, 2008

West Belfast MLA Sue Ramsey has welcomed the response of the Health Minister to Sinn Féin's campaign for action to tackle underage and binge drinking.

Sinn Fein's Assembly motion on underage and street drinking recently received all party support. The party has also brought the campaign to councils across the north including Belfast and Limavady.

Ms Ramsey said:

"Despite the negative response of the Social Development Minister at the time of the Assembly debate on these issues, it is welcome that the Health Minster has now responded positively to the Sinn Fein campaign for action to tackle underage, street and binge drinking.

"This requires a commitment from every Executive department and there are immediate steps that can be taken across all departments now.

"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.

"We hope that now Michael McGimpsey has responded positively to the Sinn Fein campaign that the SDLP Minister will reconsider her own response.

"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

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