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National Off-Licence Association AGM

NOffLA announces the new national council and chairman Jim McCabe speaks out against the 'undue influence' of big retailers

The 16th annual general meeting of the National Off-Licence Association was held on Wednesday 22 April.

The tone of the meeting reflected the challenging economic situation in which NOffLA members find themselves.

First-hand accounts of the experiences of particular members bore testimony to the harsh reality of doing business in today’s independent off-trade.

The meeting also heard of the achievements of the association during 2008 – and since its inception in 1992 – in representing the views and interests of independent off-licence owners and providing a collective voice for the industry. Looking forward, three particular areas of concern were highlighted for special attention for the coming year.

NOffLA will continue to lobby for the reversal of the earlier closing time of 10pm which was included in the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2008.

The restriction in opening hours was part of a package of measures presented as part of an overhaul on the availability of alcohol in Ireland. In the meantime, the minister has failed to act upon other restrictions in the legislation, thereby unfairly, and seriously, disadvantaging the independent off-trade.

The absence of a mandatory ID card has long been a serious failing in any attempt to definitively deal with the sale of alcohol to those under the age of 18.

The matter was raised by Deputy Charles Flanagan while considering the 2008 legislation when he asked: “Should we examine the concept of a national identification card scheme for every citizen of the State irrespective of age?” The National Off-Licence Association believes that proper age identification is vital for the control of the sale of alcohol and NOffLA has been calling for a mandatory ID card for many years.

NOffLA will also continue to lobby for mandatory training for all those selling alcohol. NOffLA chairman Jim McCabe has commented on the importance of this issue in the past: “Specialist off-licences already provide specific staff training. It is equally necessary to provide special training for staff working in these areas.

Selling alcohol is a very serious business and staff need to be advised and trained in identifying would-be underage customers and in dealing with sensitive situations, including drunkenness and secondary purchasing, where irresponsible adults attempt to purchase alcohol on behalf of minors. They also need to have a thorough understanding of licensing laws.”

The first meeting of the new national council will be held in the coming weeks, at which the membership of the council will be ratified and the association’s executive for 2008/09 will be elected.

New NOffLA council

The members of the national council for 2009/10 are:

CULLEN Tommy  
Jus de Vine, Portmarnock SC, Co Dublin

DELANEY Grellan  
The Portlaoise Wine Vault, 68 Main Street, Portlaoise, Co Laois

DEVENEY Ruth  
Deveney’s Off-Licence, Main Street, Dundrum, Dublin 16

DUNNE Peter  
Mitchell & Son, The chq Building, IFSC, Docklands, Dublin 1

HUGHES Robert  
Lonergans Off-Licence, 35 O’Connell Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

JONES Evelyn  
The Vintry, Rathgar, Dublin 6

KELLER Pat  
Keller’s Carry Out Off-Licence, Nenagh, Co Tipperary

KINSELLA Andy  
Bin No 9, 9 Farmhill Road, Goatstown, Dublin 14

MARTIN Declan  
Martin’s Off-Licence, 11 Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3

MC CABE Jim  
McCabe’s Off-Licence, Mount Merrion Avenue, Co Dublin

MC HUGH Cathal  
McHugh’s Off-Licence, Kilbarrack Road, Dublin 5

MULQUEEN Tom  
Mulqueen’s Off-Licence, Nenagh, Co Tipperary

O’BRIEN Kevin  
O’Brien Carry Out, Church Road, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15

O’CALLAGHAN Edwin  
O’Donovan’s Wines & Spirits, Douglas, Cork

O’CALLAGHAN Niamh  
Deveney’s Off-Licence, 16 Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin 6

O’DONOVAN Gary  
O’Donovan’s Wines & Spirits, Douglas, Cork

O’REILLY Brendan  
Diceys Bottle Store, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

REDMOND Jimmy  
Redmond’s of Ranelagh, Dublin 6

SHIEL John  
Londis, Malahide, Co Dublin

SHEILS Bryan  
Sheils Off-Licence, 62 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1

SWEENEY Finian 
Sweeney’s Wine Merchants, Finglas Rd., Hart’s Corner, Dublin 11

Associate members

The association’s AGM marks another year in the life of the independent off-trade in Ireland. NOffLA acknowledges the ongoing co-operation of all of their associate members in a real spirit of partnership.

This relationship has developed solidly over the past few years and has proved fruitful for both sides. The association would remind members of the commitment of these suppliers to the independent off-trade and to support them in return:

Constellation Ireland/Allied Drinks,
Ampersand,
BarryFitzwilliamMaxxium,
Brinkman Beverages,
Bulmers Ireland,
California Wine Imports,
Cassidy Wines,
Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland Ltd,
Diageo Ireland,
Edward Dillon & Company,
Fair Wind Wine,
Findlater Grants,
Galvins Wines & Spirits,
Gilbeys,
Gleeson Group Sales,
Heineken Ireland,
Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard,
Mackenway Distributors Ltd,
Richmond Marketing,
Searsons Wine Merchants,
Spanish Flavour,
Taserra

 

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