NOffLA Speaks: Strength in Numbers

The off-trade sector is undoubtedly facing serious challenges at the moment but "our strength is in our numbers" says NOffLA chairman Jim McCabe.

NOffLA Chairman, Jim McCabe has called on the members of the independent off-trade to remain united through these continually challenging times. As the annual membership subscription for the National Off-Licence Association falls due, Jim McCabe acknowledged the difficulties faced by many members. “I realise that these are difficult times and, running an off-licence myself, I am well aware of the problems and challenges we all face in the off-trade at the moment. However, we do need to unite and continue to work together to ensure our business is protected.  Our association does just that by representing the off-licence sector at government level.”

NOffLA, as the representative body of the independent off-trade in Ireland, has continued to work on behalf of its members in a variety of ways, addressing a broad range of issues. The association worked substantially during 2009 in the following ways:

  • To push for greater restrictions on multiples to reduce their irresponsible price promotion of alcohol
  • To lobby for the introduction of lower taxation levels specifically on alcohol that will eliminate bulk purchasing of alcohol by Southern shoppers in Northern Ireland
  • To highlight with government that VAT is being used to subsidize below cost selling
  • To monitor the implementation of the Code of Conduct.
  • To put pressure on government to implement the rest of the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2008 to afford independent traders at minimum, a level playing field
  • To lobby for the reintroduction of later closing hours because Section 9 was not implemented
  • To reiterate the need for mandatory training in our business sector.
  • To restate the need for mandatory I.D.
  • To reinforce that excise levies are not the answer to tackling alcohol related issues in advance of further supplementary budgets.

The NOffLA Chairman continued by admitting the difficulties in achieving many of the association’s objectives. “As a representative group of 350 outlets spread throughout Ireland we won’t always succeed in achieving our objectives, however, I do believe that over the last 17 years our association has represented the views and interests of independent off-licence owners and that without it we would have had no collective voice.”

Jim McCabe was definitive in his belief in the ultimate success of the professionals involved in the independent off-trade in Ireland. “We will, and look forward to, getting through this together. Our strength is our numbers, our collective voice and our commitment to working on your behalf.” 


The association’s 17th Annual General Meeting will take place at the Red Cow Moran Hotel Business Centre on Wednesday 21 April at 7.30pm.

The future development of the association depends on the involvement of the Council who will be elected at the AGM. It is from these members that the Association’s Executive is formed (who do much of the legwork of the Association). In addition to shaping your organisation and having an impact on the future of this industry, your participation on Council has benefits too. As members gather to discuss and plan, they all gain from the exchange of ideas from members around the country. In sharing knowledge and experience, the trade improves and so too do the individuals involved. NOffLA is your association. It influences your future. Make your voice count – get involved!

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