'Welfare Wednesday' pub apologises but says 'we operate in high unemployment area and everybody deserves chance to socialise with friends'
A Dublin pub has hit back at Tanaiste Joan Burton after she described the group's drink promotion as "irresponsible".
Liz Delaney's bar in Coolock - known locally as The Blacker - displayed posters for its €3 drinks offer, including pints, bottles and shorts, on production of a social welfare card or bus pass.
The Department of Social Protection ordered the pub to remove the logo from the poster and Tanaiste Joan Burton described the promotion as "irresponsible".
However, the Coolock pub hit back at Ms Burton's comments regarding the controversial drinks offer.
Read more here: City pub will not go ahead with booze promo
In a statement, Liz Delaney's said "She (Joan Burton) is second in command of this government that subsidises multinational companies to the tune of €50m per year to promote below-cost selling of alcohol in their supermarkets.
"That's what we call 'irresponsible'.
"This €50m would go a long way to help with job creation, homelessness and the current hospital overcrowding problem," the pub added.
Liz Delaney's also apologised "for any offence we might have caused" in response to criticism from several TDs.
"We would like to take this opportunity to clarify our intentions with our recent promotion and put it on the record that at no stage were we ever trying to encourage binge drinking or irresponsible behaviours," the statement read.
The pub defended its promotion by pointing out that the local area has suffered severe economic hardship in recent years, and that people should still be given a chance to socialise regardless of their financial situation.
"We operate in a high-unemployment area and we wanted to give people the opportunity to have a drink and socialise with their friends.
"We feel that the local pub is an integral part of Irish society and just because you are out of work you should not be excluded from normal activities."
Despite the level of criticism aimed at the establishment and the decision to remove the Department of Protection's dove logo from the poster, the pub had not cancelled the "Welfare Wednesday" event.
A representative for the bar was not available for further comment last night.
Alcohol-related harm in Ireland costs the tax-payer an estimated €3.7bn per year, and Alcohol Ireland states on their website that a low risk drinking limit can be reached with just €10.