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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 06:19 GMT 07:19 UK
New drive for safer alcohol use
Alcohol
The campaign encourages sensible drinking
A campaign aimed at developing a culture of responsible drinking by combating the sale of alcohol to minors has been launched in west Belfast.

The Community Off-Sales Sensible Drinking Campaign got off the ground on Monday ahead of the opening of the community arts festival, Feile an Phobail, (People's Festival).

It follows an initiative between the community sector and off-licences in that part of the city.

Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Belfast Alex Maskey said: "Today we are seeking to encourage the celebration of Feile an Phobail.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Alex Maskey
Alex Maskey: Launched campaign

"In particular, we are seeking to encourage sensible drinking throughout the week. For example, the opening day carnival parade is a day for all the family.

"We want to see families celebrating our rich Irish heritage and culture and the event to be kept alcohol free."

Gerry McConville from the Falls Community Council's community drugs programme said he would encourage people to join in the spirit of the festival.

He added: "We would also encourage sensible drinking throughout the feile and encourage adults to lead by example, especially for events where children may be involved."

Negative

Carole Jackson, the festival director, said its aim was to have fun while celebrating culture.

"We certainly endorse the sentiments of this campaign and would ask that while everyone should have a great time, we will certainly promote the ethos of sensible drinking."

The festival, in nationalist west Belfast, boasts that it is now one of the biggest community events of its type in western Europe.

It was established in 1988 to counter the negative image of the area generated by the Troubles.

It will run between 2 and 11 August this year.

See also:

02 Aug 99 | Northern Ireland
01 Oct 02 | Health
16 Apr 02 | Health
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