Vintners urge PSNI to show flexibility

Published: 25 Oct 2012 13:000 comments

The police have been accused of putting the future of dozens of pubs and the livelihoods of hundreds of people in Fermanagh at risk because of the "extreme way" they are enforcing the licensing laws.

Share this image

The warning from Pubs of Ulster, representing the retail licensed trade, comes following a meeting between police, publicans and local politicians in Irvinestown.

Following a landmark legal case the police have been checking premises to see if they are complying with the conditions of an Article 44 extension to their licence, allowing them to serve drink until 1am.

Those pubs that fail to comply, because they are not providing live entertainment or a substantial meal, cannot serve drink after 11pm.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, fears that the enforcement of the licensing laws in this way will cause irreparable damage to the local economy.

Speaking after the meeting in Irvinestown, he said: "Pubs of Ulster are greatly concerned about the Article 44 issue in Fermanagh and whilst we understand and appreciate that the PSNI have the best intentions, we believe that the blanket objection (to the renewal of Article 44) is very heavy handed. We are concerned that these actions will damage forever an industry already struggling to survive.

"We are encouraged however by the constructive meeting held with the PSNI, local publicans and local MLAs. The meeting was very much an open forum, allowing over 60 concerned publicans to express the genuine fear they have for the future of their businesses. We hope that the PSNI now reflect on the concerns raised and continue to engage with Pubs of Ulster and the local trade to find a way forward that safeguards the future of pubs in the area," he added.

A number of local MLAs have also joined Pubs of Ulster in the call for a more appropriate approach to licensing laws, especially in relation to Article 44 applications, with a number also attending the meeting with the PSNI and local publicans.

Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan said: "As someone who worked for many years in the hospitality sector in Fermanagh, I completely understand the frustrations of the local licensees at the approach being taken by the PSNI to this issue, particularly given the tough economic circumstances the pub industry is currently facing.

"There is a certain amount of flexibility that the PSNI need to exercise in this regard and that must begin with the removal of their objection to Article 44 applications and continuing to engage pro-actively with licensees in Fermanagh to rectify this situation," he said

"There is currently a review of licensing laws under way and it is imperative that local vintners have their say and that future laws meet the needs of a rural and tourist area like Fermanagh. As an MLA concerned about the future of the local pub industry, I will ensure that their voice is heard," he added.

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott said: "It is unfortunate that at this very difficult economic time many businesses within the service and hospitality sector could be forced out of business due to an inflexible approach from the authorities.

"I do not believe the current system is proving any more problematic than a change of implementation would, indeed it could be more practical for police to control and maintain. There is in general an excellent relationship between licence holders and the police. It is crucial for that to continue," he stated.

"The hospitality sector plays a vital role within Fermanagh's tourism and we need to support those within it as much as possible," said Mr. Elliott.

Pubs of Ulster said it would continue to engage with local pubs, as well as the PSNI and local MLAs, in order to find a way forward and ultimately ensure the future of the licensed trade in Fermanagh and throughout Northern Ireland.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

21 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department

Not against a community centre but not on ‘our doorstep’

“WE are not against a community centre, we just don’t want it on our doorstep.”

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 19:00

'We want to do it for the supporters' - Davy Black

Clogher Valley coach David Black has vowed to make up for their All Ireland Junior Cup Final defeat by winning the Ulster Towns’ Cup for their supporters when they take on Donaghadee at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.


20 Apr 2014 15:00 • Julie Kenwell

Family ‘sick of thought’ of third round of heart surgery for Alfie

THE family of Bellanaleck toddler, Alfie Keys are nervously looking ahead to this September.

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Trust identifies ‘extreme risks’ that could kill patients

Extreme risks have been identified by the Western Trust which could “compromise client safety” or even lead to “injury or death of patients or staff”.

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department

‘End of an era’ for Leslie and McCrea family

Tempo Primary’s long serving caretaker - whose family has a long connection with the Fermanagh school - was paid a warm tribute at the start of the school’s Easter Holidays.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 21:00 • Brian Donaldson

First election nominations made at Townhall

The countdown to the first election for seats on the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on May 22 has begun with the first candidates nominating at Enniskillen Townhall this week.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 17:10

Mallards gain another crucial point in safety battle

Ballinamallard took another step closer to safety as they claimed a share of the spoils at home to Ballymena today.


19 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Leading anti-fracker believes local protesters are on the right track

Founder of Frack Free Sussex and Britain and Ireland Frack Free, Vanessa Vine visited Enniskillen last Saturday to discuss the local anti-fracking campaign.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Road rage car chase for boxing champ who turned away from possible fight

A boxing champion shied away from a fight with a man over twice his age only to become embroiled in a road rage incident.


19 Apr 2014 11:00 • Editorial Department

Milk suppliers assured that Society is debt free

The forty-eight former Fivemiletown milk suppliers have been assured that Fivemiletown and Brookeborough Co-operative and Agricultural Dairy Society (the Society) is debt free and that they will “continue to be paid”.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 09:00 • Rodney Edwards

Elliott votes against bill on powers for new Super Councils

ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has joined his party colleagues in voting against the Local Government Bill, the legislation that sets out the powers of the new Super Councils. Mr. Elliott spoke of his concern around community planning ahead of the amalgamation which will see 26 Councils merge into 11, including the amalgamation of Fermanagh District Council and Omagh District Council


19 Apr 2014 08:30

Police name motorcyclist killed in Fivemiletown crash

Police can confirm that a male motorcyclist has died following a two vehicle road traffic collision on the Belfast Road in Fivemiletown last night, Friday 18 April.


18 Apr 2014 22:00 • Rodney Edwards

Orange audit: 93 per cent believe Catholics ‘suspicious’ of order

A MAJOR survey into the Orange Order in Fermanagh has found that 92.8 per cent of people who took part in the project believe Catholics are “suspicious” of the organisation.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 19:00

'We have a big eight days ahead of us' - Anderson

By 5pm on Saturday April 26 all the decisions will be made in the Danske Bank Premiership and Championship One. The destination of the title will be decided and who is going down or which teams are facing a play off will be known.


18 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Enterprise Minister disagrees with keeping Aventas Group all locally owned

ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster says she cannot support the view of local political representatives, including her DUP colleague Maurice Morrow, that the Aventas Group in Derrylin must remain exclusively locally owned.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Tweets of the Week - did you make it?

Charlie Lawson @charlie_lawson1 I’m reliably informed that my alter ego and constant companion is to return, so he is. Must contact The Home Secretary to confirm.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Foster vows to take school merger to the Assembly

“I am not powerless, I will fight this,” declares Stormont Minister Arlene Foster as she reflects on the fall-out over the proposal by the Western Education and Library Board to amalgamate Portora Royal School with Collegiate Grammar School.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane

Those were the days: Miss Derryclavin Selected

This image “Miss Derryclavin” Selected was featured in The Impartial Reporter on April 16, 1964.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 08:30

Depression is an illness, mourners told at Kenny Andrews funeral

MOURNERS at the funeral of Brookeborough man Kenneth Andrews who died unexpectedly last week were told that the 47-year-old had been fighting a private battle with depression.


17 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

‘I’m not half well’

Social: Comments0 comments