Following recent high-profile attacks on publicans across the country, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) have today called for publicans to be protected by the law and sterner deterrents to be enacted immediately. The VFI also stated that those behind the assaults have no real fear of custodial sentences.
Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive, VFI said; “Many of our members are feeling vulnerable and exposed. We receive calls on a weekly basis about assaults right around the country. Publicans are being left with serious injuries and premises are being destroyed on a regular basis.
“We estimate that such attacks have increased by 40pc-50pc in recent years. This is a wholly unsatisfactory and intolerable situation.
“Publicans have sustained serious facial injuries, broken noses and cracked ribs. Those are the measurable injuries, what is immeasurable is the mental trauma the victims are experiencing. The situation is being exacerbated by the apparent unwillingness of the Judiciary to hand down appropriate sentences to the convicted in these cases.
“It is very simple; without stronger sentencing imposed, these acts of violence are likely to continue. If some people believe that they can act with relative impunity they will do so. That is the message they are currently receiving.”
Mr. Cribben concluded; “We must begin to protect law abiding members of society. The good work of the Gardaí needs to be supported by appropriate sentencing by the Judiciary and that is an urgent message that needs to be communicated by action.”
Notes to Editors:
The VFI was established in 1973 from smaller associations for the protection and betterment of the livelihood of the individual publican.
The VFI has approximately 4,200 members and is a firmly established strong national trade organisation.
For further information:
Natalie Tennyson @ PSG Plus: 01 634 2558 / 083 127 1277
Dan O’Neill @ PSG Plus: 01 634 2559 / 087 123 2182
Mick O’Keeffe @ PSG Plus: 01 634 2555/ 087 885 4072