‘Welfare Wednesday’ pub apologises over drinks promotion
Liz Delaney’s was criticised for offering cut-price alcohol to unemployed customers
Liz Delaney’s pub said just because customers are unemployed doesn’t mean they should be excluded from normal social activities.
A Dublin pub has issued an apology after its “Welfare Wednesday” drinks promotion drew criticism from politicians and the Department of Social Protection.
Liz Delaney’s was accused of promoting “irresponsible drinking” after launching a campaign offering cut-price alcohol to customers in receipt of State payments.
A poster for the Coolock pub advertised €3 pints of beer and measures of spirits for anyone who presented a social welfare card or bus pass.
Following criticism, the pub published a statement on Tuesday denying it was encouraging binge drinking or irresponsible behaviour.
“At no stage were we ever trying to encourage binge drinking or irresponsible behaviour. It was never our intention to offend or upset anybody,” it said.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for any offence we might have caused to anyone.”
Earlier, the Department of Social Protection said it considered the promotion “irresponsible”. It also instructed the pub to remove the department’s logo from the poster promoting the low-price drink.
Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone said it appeared as if the pub was encouraging patrons to spend their dole money on alcohol.
“While I’m not against social welfare recipients receiving discounts, I am against the promotion of irresponsible drinking and irresponsible prices. It seems to me that Welfare Wednesday is an invitation for people to spend their Social Welfare on alcohol when they receive it,” she said.
The pub said it wanted to give members of the community in a “high unemployment area” the opportunity to drink and socialise with their friends.
“We feel that the local pub is an integral part of Irish Society and just because you are out of work you should not be excluded from normal social activities,” it said.
The pub also criticised legislation around the selling of low-price alcohol in supermarkets