Football rivals Sheehy and Cahalane unite to promote responsible drinking

It was a case of hands across the border as football legends Niall Cahalane and Mikey Sheehy raised a jar to a new Vintners’ Federation campaign for responsible drinking.

The Generation Games campaign was hosted in the Mills Pub in Ballyvourney on the Cork/Kerry border, and Cahalane and Sheehy were joined by their respective sons, Damien and David.

The VFI said it was launching the campaign to highlight the safe enjoyment of pubs as a place of social interaction.

The campaign will feature a series of games nights in pubs throughout Cork and Kerry in December and January, with activities like quizzes, card nights, darts and pool competitions.

Sheehy, a man who struck terror into many a Cork heart in his playing days, said as a parent he believed the pub was “a far safer and more controlled environment” for alcohol consumption.

“People forget that the pub isn’t all about drinking and that it can also be a place where people come to relax, converse and enjoy the general atmosphere,” he said.

Cahalane said: “The pub is a mainstay of Irish society and it’s important for the younger generation to experience that in the right manner. Personally speaking, when my son Damien does decide to go out and socialise, I would much rather see him enjoy a couple of drinks in a pub where there is a greater level of supervision rather than at some house.”

Padraig Cribben, chief executive of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, said he wanted the new campaign to highlight how younger people can “ultimately enjoy the pub in a sensible manner, free of any peer pressure”.

“There is an apparent lack of understanding of how to drink sensibly, particularly with the younger generation,” he said.

“We believe that if this younger generation choose to take a drink, then they should try to do so sensibly,” he added.

The two-month series of events begins on Dec 6. For details and locations, check the VFI website.


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