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Monday 22 May 2017

Number of off-licences in the north to close for St Patrick's Day in a bid to 'prevent trouble'

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Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A number of off-licences in Belfast will close their doors on St Patrick's Day in a bid to stop drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Following years of trouble, off-licences in the Holylands area have agreed not to open on Friday.

Senior police officers have also warned that alcohol will be confiscated from anyone caught drinking in public.

Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill, welcomed the move. 

Speaking to Belfast Live, Mr Neill called on supermarkets to follow suit.

"I can understand both sides of this debate. I have sympathy with residents of the Holylands, who have been subjected to unacceptable behaviour on St Patrick’s Day, year after year.

However, I also have sympathy for the local off-licences and commend them for voluntarily agreeing to close," he added.

He called on supermarkets  to stop deliveries of alcohol into the Holylands area on St Patrick’s Day and the day before.

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