A controversial image of a child asleep at a drink filled table in a bar is being used to urge Derry parents not to bring their children to licensed premises this St Patrick’s Day.
Derry City Council’s Civic Alcohol Forum together with a number of other agencies launched the campaign yesterday as the image was rolled out across prominent city centre billboards and bus shelters.
Endorsing the campaign, The Mayor, Councillor Colum Eastwood, said he hoped it would make parents think carefully about how they choose to celebrate the day with their children.
“We want everyone to have a positive experience at this year’s Spring Carnival and will be reminding parents to show their children how to enjoy St Patrick’s Day in a positive way. The message we are trying to get out there is that - you are not responsible for someone else’s behaviour but you are responsible for your behaviour while caring for your child,” he said.
Speaking about the St Patrick’s Day anti-drink message, Eamonn Toner from the Civic Alcohol Forum explained: “This is the first time that one campaign has been endorsed by so many agencies and organisations for St Patrick’s Day. The consensus was that it was vital to get one clear and consistent message out into the community about alcohol and parental responsibilities during this holiday.
“This carnival care initiative is aimed at encouraging families to enjoy a fun day out and to show their children how to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in a positive and responsible way.”
Joanne Smith, Partnership Manager with local alcohol awareness group Drink Think, said: “We are asking parents to think twice before taking your children into a licensed premise this St Patricks Day. There are a number of premises throughout the city who provide a family friendly environment for you to enjoy good food and maybe some entertainment, but please remember that St Patrick’s Day is increasingly becoming a day when people drink a lot and places become very packed which may not be ideal for children to be present in. Take advantage of the alcohol free events taking place throughout the city if you have young children.”
Further details about St Patricks Day celebrations in the city can be found by visiting www.derrycity.gov.uk/stpatricksday.
Information on the carnival care initiative and how to enjoy the event safely and responsibly can be found on www.derrycity.gov.uk/care