A pub offering a set price “all you can drink” promotion was today condemned as “reckless and irresponsible” by a senior Government minister.
The Madhatter pub in Blackrock, Co Dublin, was accused of encouraging binge drinking by offering customers all they could drink in an evening – excluding champagne – for a €40 entrance fee for men and €25 for women.
“This is reckless and irresponsible,” said Government chief whip Mary Hanafin.
“This practice will only encourage binge drinking and could spark an increase in alcohol-related public order offences.
She said gardai had reassured her that the pub’s licence renewal could be affected if there was an increase in disorder as a result of the promotion.
Pub manager Michael Moran rejected Ms Hanafin’s claims, saying the promotion had been an “unbelievable” success at the weekend and would be repeated on the last Saturday of every month.
“It was fantastic, it’s gone through the roof,” he said. “Everybody drank, they were merry and had a great bit of craic. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“I’ve never had so many people thank me as they left the pub.”
He said the night went smoothly without any problems caused by people drinking excessively.
“It was the smoothest night I’ve had in a long time. We have more problems on a Monday afternoon than a Saturday night.”
Mr Moran invited Mary Hanafin to visit the pub during the next promotion in February.
“If she came down and had a look then she would realise what it’s really like - until then she’s not in a position to comment.”