The boss of a major hospitality lobby has blamed those who sold cheap drink to underage children for a worrying spike in drink and drug related admissions to Altnagelvin following the Club MTV gig in Derry at the weekend.
Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster, said those peddling drink to young people were responsible for putting them at serious risk.
He said: “We are gravely concerned at the news that some concert goers as young as 13 were hospitalised with alcohol related issues after the MTV concert in Derry/Londonderry at the weekend.
“Although a number of patients were admitted for assault and drug related issues also, we must ask some serious questions of where those individuals under the age of 18 purchased their alcohol from.”
He also called for the implementation of a minimum price per unit of alcohol as a way of preventing such incidents in future.
“We need to ensure that alcohol cannot be purchased by, or for, those who are underage, and that cheap drink which is sold below cost price is inaccessible to those it is likely to cause most harm.”
“We reiterate our call for the Assembly to support and bring forward a minimum price per unit for alcohol in the upcoming liquor licensing bill so that serious incidents like this become less frequent.”