Sunday 25 June 2017

Monks who make Buckfast could lose charitable status due to drink's links to 'violence'

Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Campaigners are calling for the monks behind popular tonic wine Buckfast to lose their charitable status, claiming they are profiting from a "dangerous" drink.

The Buckfast Abbey in Devon made €10.3 million in 2014/15 and paid no tax on the profits due to the fact it is a charitable trust, Devon Live reports.

National Secular Society - which works to challenge religious privilege - has claimed Buckfast Tonic Wine is a scourge on society.

The drink is particularly popular in both Ireland and Scotland.

However, it has been linked to 6,500 reports of antisocial behaviour and violence in just two years.

It has been produced in the abbey in Devon since the 1920s but now the National Security Society is calling for it to be stripped of its charitable status.

Society vice president Alistair McBay said: "The monks should be setting an example as a religious organisation but the opposite is happening.

"The question needs to be asked 'Are they serving God or Mamon?"

The Trust justifies its charitable status by saying its aim is the "advancement of the Roman Catholic religion".

It said it takes "all complaints about registered charities seriously" and would "assess the information about the Buckfast Abbey Trust to determine if there is a regulatory role for the Commission".

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