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:
Jus de Vine, Portmarnock SC, Co Dublin
The Portlaoise Wine Vault, 68 Main Street, Portlaoise, Co Laois
Deveney’s Off-Licence, Main Street, Dundrum, Dublin 16
Mitchell & Son, The chq Building, IFSC, Docklands, Dublin 1
Lonergans Off-Licence, 35 O’Connell Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
The Vintry, Rathgar, Dublin 6
Keller’s Carry Out Off-Licence, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Bin No 9, 9 Farmhill Road, Goatstown, Dublin 14
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’s Off-Licence, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
O’Brien Carry Out, Church Road, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
O’Donovan’s Wines & Spirits, Douglas, Cork
Deveney’s Off-Licence, 16 Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin 6
O’Donovan’s Wines & Spirits, Douglas, Cork
Diceys Bottle Store, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Redmond’s of Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Londis, Malahide, Co Dublin
Sheils Off-Licence, 62 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1
Sweeney’s Wine Merchants, Finglas Rd., Hart’s Corner, Dublin 11
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,
California Wine Imports,
Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland Ltd,
Edward Dillon & Company,
Fair Wind Wine,
Galvins Wines & Spirits,
Gleeson Group Sales,
Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard,
Mackenway Distributors Ltd,
Searsons Wine Merchants,