The organisers and partners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann have encouraged everyone attending next week’s festivities to drink responsibly.
The PSNI, Derry City Council and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann have reminded the public that drinking alcohol on the streets is not allowed and that alcohol can only be consumed in a small number of areas in the city centre that have been granted a temporary licence.
A number of licences have been granted to allow revellers to drink alcohol, in a controlled environment, in parts of the city centre following discussions and partnership arrangements between various agencies and local businesses.
Gearoid O hÉara from the Fleadh Executive Committee said he is pleased with the arrangements. “We are delighted that temporary licences have been allocated following applications to the Court.
“A small number of licenses have been granted for Waterloo Street, Custom House and Lower Shipquay Street/Bank Place for the duration of the festival which will greatly assist us to ensure the consumption of alcohol will be in a controlled and supervised environment, in keeping with our promotion of a responsible attitude to alcohol at the festival.
“We see the Fleadh as a family-friendly event and the majority of the events planned will be held outside in alcohol-free areas,” he said.
Anthony Tohill, Strategic Director with Derry City Council, said outside of the areas with temporary licences, the normal on-street drinking regulations will apply. “The current by-laws in respect of on-street drinking remain in place across the city but will not have effect in the areas covered by the granting of the occasional licenses during the dates and times specified on the licence,” he said.
The Mayor of Derry, councillor Martin Reilly, encouraged people to enjoy themselves responsibly. “The vast majority of people who consume alcohol at large events such as the Fleadh do so sensibly without causing problems or needing assistance. However, without careful planning, the irresponsible behaviour of a small minority could impact on the enjoyment of others. We will be actively promoting a responsible attitude to alcohol to ensure everyone can enjoy the festival sensibly and working closely with accommodation providers, local businesses and retailers to ensure they reap the benefits of the festival in terms of visitor spend and experience,” he said.
PSNI Area Commander Chief Inspector Jon Burrows added: “We are keen to ensure that the Fleadh is a success and that visitors and residents are kept safe. We are working with all our partners to ensure that the appropriate plans are in place for this major event and would encourage visitors to make themselves aware of the licensing arrangements.”