June/July 2012
Volume 12 Issue 4
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Message from the President
Publican Profile:
John Aylward, The Wander Inn
Overseas Publican: Trevor Brennan, Toulouse
Celebrity Interview: Willie Duggan
Overview of Conference 2012
Licence Renewal Information
Garda Powers
Household Charge
Underage Drinking
Health & Safety:
How to Protect your Premises
Contracts of Employment
Employing Family
VFI News Alert:
General News Alert:
Sports & Social:
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This month has seen a slight changing of the Guard. Gerry
Mellett has completed his two-year term as President and is
replaced by Gerry Rafter. Gerry Mellett worked tirelessly for the
last two years to further the aims of the Federation and the
plight of the publican in very difficult circumstances. He fully
understood and empathised with the problems publicans are
facing right across the country and left no stone unturned in
getting the message across to Government and other officials
as to the plight of the industry and the issues that needed to be
addressed to put wrongs right.
It is to his credit that during that period the whole question of
minimum pricing became centre stage in the national debate
and that would not have happened without the input of the
Federation. He leaves his term of office with the good wishes
of the members and my personal thanks for the help, guidance,
wise counsel and support he gave over the past two years.
Gerry Rafter enters at as difficult a time as one could imagine.
Gerry too, is a hands on publican and knows on a day-to-day
basis all of the issues facing the trade. He brings an energy and
a commitment to the job that will challenge all of us. This is
always a good thing and new views are needed to ensure
vibrancy and vitality.
The National Executive Council also sees a lot of change. Over
the past two years over two-thirds of the Council will have
changed as a result of what is generally referred to as the ‘8year rule’. Again, this will help to bring a freshness.
New ideas, new concepts and a questioning of the old are
always important to keep an organisation like ours relevant,
sharp, focused and fit for purpose. I have no doubt that the
team that has been put in place to lead the Federation at
National Executive Council for the next twelve months will
ensure that the Federation delivers for its members in so far as
it can in all the circumstances that will prevail.
of the Events Guide booklet, a copy of which will wind its way to
every member in the very near future if it has not already arrived.
This is not meant to be a complete dissertation on events. Nor is
it meant to be a solution to all of the ills of the trade.
What it is meant to be is a thought provoking mechanism for
people as to what they might do to increase footfall, to get
people to consider coming back to the pub and to get people
used again to the pub experience. What is key in any of these
events is the linking with the local community through either
charities, sports organisations or leisure organisations and
ensuring that once people are in that the experience is such that
they will want to come back. It is what Fergal Quinn, one of the
best retailers in the country in the last forty years, called the
‘boomerang effect’.
Euro 2012 should be an occasion for attracting people to the
premises. There were a number of ideas in respect of this at the
conference and these will be displayed on the website with
immediate effect. I have no doubt that many publicans will use
their own initiative to create events and opportunities around the
tournament and indeed the
subsequent Olympics to help
drive footfall and profitability.
All of these occasions need
to be maximised as it is
evident over the last number
of weeks that the on-going
trade in its own right will be
insufficient to sustain many of
the businesses. Let’s make
hay while the sun shines and
let’s hope that there will be
some sun during the weeks
June/July 2012
All of the activities of the AGM are well covered throughout this
issue. I would just like to pay particular reference to the launch
VFI Update
In my very first Presidential
Address I would like to say a big
“Hi” to all my fellow publicans,
VFI members and great friends I
have made in the many years I
have been a member.
It is indeed a great honour and
privilege that you have elected
me to be your President and one
that I won’t take lightly. I am no
“messiah” and perhaps, in our
current economic circumstances,
we need one, but I can assure
you that for the next two years I
will dedicate all my time and
energies to fight all the relevant
battles and causes for you, our
VFI members, so that we can
hold onto our livelihoods, our
businesses and our staff.
We are in very tough and
challenging times right now. I
don’t need to tell any of you
that confidence is the key
ingredient that is missing for us
but more importantly for our
customers. We are constantly
being told that our savings ratio
is a very strong one at 14% but
that is currently not being spent
in the retail sector. Our
customers just don’t know what
is coming around the corner and
are slow to spend the disposable
income they have, instead
saving it for a rainy day.
But that rainy day has arrived and we need our
Government to put structures and policies in place that will
help give all of us the confidence to spend again; this will
undoubtedly help retain jobs, hopefully spark new jobs
and this in return will help get our economy back onto the
road of recovery.
June/July 2012
On the topic of jobs and employment, I do feel that our
industry, and in particular our pubs, play a very large part
in our economy. We supply six jobs to every one in the off
trade and I believe that Government or media doesn’t
recognise or respect this significant role we play in
collecting taxes for the state coffers, whether it be by way
of VAT, PRSI, PAYE, etc.
In the next two years I commit to all our members that I
will work as diligently as I possibly can to ensure that Ms.
Róisín Shortall delivers on her promise regarding the
minimum pricing of alcohol. I will also work on ensuring
Mr. Shatter implements the segregation of alcohol in the
off trade and the ban on price based advertising of
alcohol. The Voluntary Code isn’t working and it’s time for
VFI Update
it to be regulated. This will be of
massive importance to all
publicans and we must see a
closure of the gap between the
off trade and our on trade.
I would like all our members to
come on board and join up to
our Fáilte Ireland Accreditation
Scheme. This has the power to
help all publicans to raise their
standards, or if that’s not
required, to gain recognition for
the standards that already exist.
When we mention Fáilte Ireland
we assume tourists; but surely all
our customers are tourists, no
matter where they come from,
even our best locals. They all
deserve the best quality and
service that we can provide so
please sign up.
2013 is the year of “The
Gathering” and this is one
initiative we must get involved in
and drive. Every pub around
Ireland has the potential to be
the hub of The Gathering and be
of enormous benefit in helping
to bring tourists here and
thereby reinvigorate our own
Summer 2012 will be a huge
festival of sport and we must use
the Euro 2012, the Olympics and
the GAA Championships to help treat our customers to a
great time in our pubs. Let’s think “outside the box” and
give our customers a reason to get off the sofa and come
and enjoy the craic of the pub.
I hope that all of you that I met in Kilkenny for the
Conference in May had a wonderful time. I know I had and
we are already getting very positive feedback. In these
difficult times maybe we have to focus our minds on how
to drive our business rather than just be in the driver’s seat
and our Events Booklet, launched at Conference 2012, will
certainly help with ideas. A big thank you to our CEO,
Head Office staff and the Kilkenny Committee who made
the Conference happen.
For me, I am honoured to be your President but for now,
let the work begin.
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June/July 2012
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VFI Update
John Aylward,
The Wander Inn,
Waterford City
istory drips from the walls of the Wander Inn, situated in
Johnstown, Waterford City. And in the search for primary
evidence, look no further than current owner, the affable and
immensely likeable John Aylward. Born in 1943, John has seen
it all. But he admits that the current recession that has gripped
the country is the worst that he can remember, more acute
even than the dips experienced in the 1960s and 1980s.
John admits: “There’s a huge challenge for us here – and that
challenge started three years ago. We can see a fairly steep
decline since then, no increase in the last three years and it’s
been a steady decline.”
But John is determined not to let the bleak economic outlook
get him down. He’s survived before – and he will again.
He smiles: “In business you have to be positive, you can’t be
negative. “And in the search for answers, the Vintners have
been a powerful help to me, with social media and energysaving seminars. They were definitely a help to me - it clarified
the mind and got me thinking about the situation and possible
solutions to the problems that we’re having. If we hadn’t
attended those seminars, we could still be fishing in the dark
for solutions to keep us viable.”
John takes inspiration, too, from the clientele that frequent his
establishment. And he explained: “My profile of customers
would be anything from 40 to 103! We had two 100th birthday
parties last year in the pub – a Mrs. Nolan and Mrs. Doyle. Mrs.
Nolan has died since but Mrs. Doyle remains hail and hearty
and comes down dancing once a month.”
John Aylward
Now to the history of the Aylwards, with our resident expert
John. He reveals: “The Aylwards date back to 1173, when they
came in with the Normans. There were 103 different places
brewing beer in Waterford, some, needless to say, in little tiny
hovels serving as bars in those days. My grandfather came into
Waterford originally and started a couple of businesses. There
was a grocery shop but during the harsh times, he went broke.
My father paid the debt on the premises and took it over.
When my father and mother got married, the grocery business
was resurrected. They bought a licence and put it into that
premises. That’s where my history starts.”
The Wander Inn has been in existence since 1959 and John’s
father made quite a name for himself in the local area as a
wholesaler, selling bar products within a 30-mile radius. John
smiles: “We bottled our Guinness stout and Smithwicks beer,
bonded whiskey, all the major brands. In 1961, I was leaving
school and my father took a distribution agency for Coca-Cola.
When I left school, I went to Coca-Cola in London, came back
here and started distributing at that time. My area stretched
back as far as Dungarvan, most of the area where my father
was selling beer. I joined up with Munster bottlers, and became
area manager for a triangle covering down to Midleton, to
Clonmel and back down to Waterford.
June/July 2012
“I sold my interest in Coca-Cola, I think that was the early
1970s, and I’ve been in the bar business since then. There have
been a couple of recessions. I remember a very bad time in the
60s when the banks weren’t lending money at all and a huge
number of firms went broke. There was another recession in
the 80s – challenging times then but nothing like the times
VFI Update
Johnstown, Waterford City
John Aylward
In Operation: Since 1959
today. It’s by far the worst in my memory. What worries me is
the amount of personal credit that was available and it
frightens me to think of the personal debt that’s out there
The consequences have been far-reaching but the local pub
remains a refuge from the storm. And John has a very clear
philosophy when it comes to running his business. “It’s a
traditional pub with traditional values,” he explains. “I have
mature people coming in here, I don’t just mean in years. I’m
referring more to their attitude towards alcohol. I don’t
encourage people coming in asking for shots being put up on
the counter and then bang, bang, bang. That isn’t the ethos of
the Wander Inn at all. I would prefer to see a person coming in
and sitting over a pint with intelligent conversation. What I see
in some of the modern premises wouldn’t appeal to me at all.”
Five staff work in the Wander Inn, with the premises home to a
snug that can seat 25 comfortably, a lounge with the capacity
to seat 40 and a function room that can cater for 175 people.
John Aylward is not just a publican, however. He’s also
dedicated husband and father, proudly explaining: “My wife
was a schoolteacher and never worked in the business. To be
truthful, I’m most grateful to her. She literally had to rear the
children on her own. I was involved in the business most of my
married life. My eldest is a chef working in one of the local
bistros, my second son is a medical doctor and the third child is
the boffin in the family working in a pharmaceutical company in
Cork, manufacturing medicines and that kind of stuff.”
John describes his pub as “a profitable hobby” but it’s a hobby
that he’s deadly serious about. “I really enjoy meeting the
customers coming in but I would be known in Waterford for
running a fairly strict pub. When I say strict, I don’t suffer fools.
But everyone has a story to tell. I think the part the publican
has to play is to be a good listener, keep his advice to himself
and listen, not counsel. If you listen to a person with a problem,
the person will work out that problem without help from
anybody else.” But then John Aylward has his own story to tell,
he can tell it as good as any. Why not stop at the Wander Inn,
meet with John and the team for a friendly chat and become
part of the Wanders “Family”….
June/July 2012
The function room could be in use five or six nights a week and
is home to local theatre groups, soccer supporters club, active
retirement groups and on Wednesday night The Bridge club,
among others. “We have our own in-house session on a Sunday
night the customers can sing and dance in the old fashioned
VFI Update
Trevor Brennan
Despite the lack of atmosphere the pubs
did well because there were a lot of expats
looking for a few sociables after work. I
saw a market for an authentic Irish pub.”
“The leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus
is also based in Toulouse and employs in
excess of 30,000 people, many of which
are Irish, English and Scottish, i.e. people
who enjoy a drink! Also to our advantage
was that Toulouse has the third highest
population of students in France. There
was definitely a gap in the market for
these two groups” he explained.
It was his successful rugby career that
initially brought Trevor to France. Having
risen through the ranks of Leinster rugby
over his six years playing with the province,
Trevor got a call from an agent with an
offer that was too good to pass up.
He said, “Stade Toulousain was interested.
I was 28 years old and the best team in
Europe had come knocking – it was an
unmissable opportunity. France was seen
as the best league in the northern
hemisphere; Toulouse in particular had won
the Heineken Cup and this was at a time
when none of the Irish teams had reached
these heights.
Trevor Brennan
ailing from Leixlip, Co. Kildare,
retired rugby star Trevor Brennan
has had a long and varied rugby
career playing for Barnhall, Bective
Rangers, St Marys College RFC, Leinster
Rugby, Stade Toulousain and Ireland,
being capped 13 times.
June/July 2012
However it is the institution that has
become De Danú, Trevor’s pub in
Toulouse, France, that was the talking
point when we spoke to him recently. A
symbol of Trevor’s glory days playing
rugby, the pub has become a much-loved
haven for rugby supporters, Irish and
French alike.
Before touching on his illustrious career,
Trevor gives an account of his experience
of the pub trade growing up in Kildare, “I
worked in pubs after school and weekends
from the age of 14 right up to 21 when I
signed my first professional rugby
contract. I worked for the Hannigan family,
in a host of pubs and hotels that they
owned including the Springfield Hotel,
Riverforest Hotel and the Ryevale Tavern.
Despite always having a dream to own my
own business, little did I know that these
early years working behind a bar would
provide a good grounding for what was to
VFI Update
“Purely from a rugby point of view I
relished the prospect of playing with some
of the best players in Europe but also in
terms of financial reward, I was being
offered a two year contract for €180,000
which basically tripled my salary at the
time. It was a no-brainer.”
“I was still playing rugby with Toulouse
when I started to seriously consider buying
a bar in France. I specifically remember
when the seed was planted; it was the
night of the final of the French
championships in 2005. Despite winning
the Heineken Cup that year, we had lost
the French championships in Paris - I was
drowning my sorrows with my friend and
teammate Patrick Soula – owner of De
Danú at the time.
“Despite suffering a huge blow that night,
the craic and atmosphere in the pub
cheered us all and it turned out to be a
great night. I recognised the potential in
De Danú after that and decided to take
Patrick up on his offer and buy the pub
from him.”
So when did Trevor’s career as a publican
Still playing professional rugby, Trevor
knew he was taking a risk but recognised a
number of advantages to buying; De Danú
was already a well-known rugby pub with
fans flocking there for every game; the bar
licence was still valid; and there were still a
large number of Irish, English and Scots
living and working nearby in need of a
watering hole!
“When I arrived in France I didn’t speak the
language and was a long way from home,
so naturally I socialised in Irish bars. The
pubs at the time - The Killarney, Mulligans were the typically plastic ‘Irish pubs
abroad’; lifeless and without character.
“Once I made the decision, I enlisted the
help of the ‘Irish Pub Company’ and got an
architect to start drawing up plans. It was a
quick turnaround but I was determined to
do it right. We sourced authentic barrels,
wooden floors, traditional Irish bric a brac
Playing some of the best rugby of his
career, Trevor exceeded expectations and
his contract was extended to five years
after just six months playing with the club.
service. The French expect a top level of
service and that includes everything from
making good eye contact, remembering
names, remembering rounds, and giving
out the odd free pint to locals. It all counts
towards providing a great service and
ensuring the regulars stay regular!”
Trevor also relies on good staff to keep
customers happy. He employs
approximately 20 staff, with five part-time
and also five chefs.
definite advantage throughout hot French
summers. Everyone mingles easily and
there is always a good atmosphere.”
Trevor’s risk paid off. His status as an
international rugby player firmly established
De Danú as the pub to go to for every
game, but more than that, Trevor
accommodated all different types of sport,
positioning it as one of the best sports bars
in Toulouse. With nine different TVs, Trevor
keeps everyone happy with rugby, soccer,
GAA and any other sport of interest to his
In terms of the French culture, Trevor
explains that the French tend to drink
differently to the Irish.
Not alone a sporting bar, Trevor has
developed an extensive menu of good food
with both local and traditional Irish fare.
“Food is a big part of our offering and we
would serve between 150 and 200 meals on
average each day. It’s not only lunches and
dinners either – breakfast is a huge selling
point for us. We offer a traditional full Irish
breakfast with real bacon, sausages and
pudding imported from Ireland. The French
love it, as do expats, who flock in at
weekends for a taste of home. We also
keep our prices competitive; patrons can
get a full Irish breakfast with all the
trimmings for €12 plus tea or coffee.”
When asked about other tricks of the trade,
Trevor says he tries to keep the atmosphere
relaxed. “There is a healthy mix of students,
businessmen, sports fans and tourists. We
have a large, 150 square metre terrace
which is a draw for smokers and it is also a
“The French tend to start an evening slow
with glasses of beer, but often will finish up
the evening with a bottle of some type of
spirit, whether it be a bottle of whisky or
rum. The mark-up on spirits in France is
fantastic, so business definitely benefits
from this type of socialising.
“There never seems to be any trouble
around here either. Kids don’t tend to
abuse alcohol like they do at home and
there is a much healthier attitude to
This could explain the more lenient
opening hours that the French enjoy.
Trevor explains than pubs over there are
open until 1.30am six days a week and
3am on a Saturday.
“Having longer opening hours is definitely
a help for business and we are lucky that
we enjoy a crowd up to closing time seven
days a week.”
Trevor prides himself on giving customers
a great night out and always looking after
He said, “Owning a bar in France truly
gives you a good grounding in customer
“I expect my staff to treat customers well.
The bar game is tough though – 99% of
customers will be there for the right
reasons, for a quiet few drinks and to have
the banter, but there is always the odd one
or two you will have to show the door to.
Most of my managers have been with me
for nearly eight years now so I trust them
to read a situation and handle it well.”
Other important factors for Trevor are
cleanliness and reasonable prices. He said,
“Clean toilets and a clean bar are a must.
When customers are spending evenings in
a pub, they expect a certain level of
comfort and cleanliness. It’s obviously
hugely important for a pub that serves
food to keep the highest levels of hygiene.
“Pricing is also important. We are the
busiest and the cheapest bar in Toulouse
and that’s not a coincidence. We will make
sure that if the pub down the road is
charging €6.80 for a pint, we are charging
€5.80. It’s the only way to keep customers
at a time when money is tight,” he
That said however, Trevor hasn’t been
majorly affected by the recession. “The
French tend to live for the moment. Most
people here rent all their lives and weren’t
as badly affected by the property crash.
While there are some signs of the global
downturn, the French don’t have
mountains of debt hanging over them and
there hasn’t been a knock-on affect on the
pub trade thankfully.”
Nestled in Toulouse’s Rue du Pont
Guilhemery, De Danú goes from strength
to strength. France has become home for
Trevor, wife Paula Kennedy and their three
boys, Daniel (13), Joshua (10) and Bobby
(5), with all of them able to speak the lingo
at varying levels.
There is no sign of this rugby star returning
to Ireland any time soon but that said, he
does admit to missing live music and ceilis
in bars and having banter with friends and
family. But no doubt with celebrations still
in full swing in De Danu after Leinster’s
recent Heineken Cup win he will get plenty
of banter from locals off the back of it for
weeks to come.
VFI Update
June/July 2012
for the walls and set to work creating an
Irish haven in the centre of Toulouse. Three
months later we were open for business.”
10 Questions with…
Willie Duggan may well be known
to publicans as the provider of
lighting systems but to many
others he was one of the stand-out
number 8s in European if not world
rugby. During a distinguished
career he won 41 caps for Ireland
and toured New Zealand in 1977
with the British and Irish Lions. He
retired from the international rugby
scene in 1984 as captain.
1. What is your favourite pub in Ireland outside
The Rock Bar
2. In your opinion what factors make a great
Good fire and great craic
3. Best occasion in a pub you have ever had?
Cock of the Rock!
4. The best thing about Irish pubs is ....?
Good fire and great craic
June/July 2012
5. What is the best Irish pub song?
Can’t sing……
6. Where is the best pub grub in Ireland?
Langtons, Kilkenny
7. What makes a good barman?
One that doesn’t pass on any information.
VFI Update
8. What woman (from any era or time, dead or
alive) would you like to spend a few sociable
hours in a pub with?
Angela Merkeal….what a laugh?!
9. What man would you like to spend a few
sociable hours in the pub with?
Richard Harris
10. Best Irish bar outside Ireland you have ever
been to?
Can’t remember!!!!
Special Resolution No. 1
A person who is a member of the VFI for a consecutive
period of six months is entitled to attend and vote at all
VFI meetings (subject to Articles 24 and 25) and to hold
office in the VFI and to be elected and appointed to any
VFI Committee or to be elected and become a member of
the National Executive Council of the VFI or the
Management Committee of the VFI and shall be entitled
to all VFI membership benefits including cover under any
insurance, personal accident policy or any other scheme
or policy operated by the VFI from time to time for and on
behalf of its members provided and subject to and
conditional upon payment of the subscription and
membership amount being paid promptly on time to the
VFI in respect of the licensed business premises to which a
publicans On Licence is attached in respect of such
member and in the event of the non payment of the
subscription and the membership amount to the VFI then
membership will automatically cease and the members
name removed from the register of members. A person in
the first six months of their membership is entitled to all
above benefits other than those of voting and capability
to be elected to any VFI Committee.
Withdrawn - Cork
Motion No. 1
To re-name and re-brand the Federation to reflect the
current market situation for our members and customers
as visitors to Ireland have no idea who the VFI are or who
they represent.
Motion Lost - Clare
Motion No. 2
That the NEC initiate a complete overhaul of VFI
Headquarters, administration and organisational structure,
to be carried out with a view to streamlining the
organisation, to make it fit for purpose and eliminate
unnecessary duplication of meetings and of Committees.
Motion Lost - Cork
Motion No. 3
That the VFI enter negotiations with the Minister for
Justice & Defence seeking legislation compelling anyone
wishing to obtain a new licence for a leased premises to
enter a bond similar to builders etc. to defray
tax/VAT/suppliers in the event of unexpected closure of
the premises.
Motion Referred Back to NEC - Cork
Motion No. 4
That the VFI as a policy seek a reduction in the cost of
Special Exemptions (late licenses) from €410.00 per
exemption to a reasonable amount such as the amount
payable prior to the increase.
Motion Carried - Cork and Kerry
Motion No. 5
That the VFI lobby to have Good Friday as an optional
opening day for publicans.
Motion Carried - Cork and Kerry
Motion No. 6
That the VFI lobby to have the watershed regarding the
9/10pm closing time for underage in the pub removed.
Motion Carried - Kerry
Motion No. 7
That the VFI lobby to have the requirement for
segregated smoking areas simplified.
Motion Carried - Kerry.
Heineken Prize Draw
€500 each
Noreen Corkery, Corkery’s Bar, Mill Street, Co Cork
John Halpin, Halpin’s Bar, Croom, Co Limerick
Colman Deady, Deady’s, Mallow, Co Cork
Padraic McGann, McGann’s, Monivea, Co Galway
Ita Connolly, Connolly’s, Collooney, Co Sligo - €1,000
Kevin Heffernan, Vincy’s, Ballina, Co Mayo - €500
John Halpin, Croom, pictured with Patrick Conway,
On Trade Director with Heineken, delighted with
his €500 win.
VFI Update
June/July 2012
Winners Diageo Holiday Vouchers
Clare Delegates vote at AGM
June/July 2012
he 2012 AGM was held in Hotel Kilkenny in Kilkenny City.
This is one of the hotels in the Liam Griffin stable and it is
ideally located just on the outskirts of Kilkenny City. It
has magnificent conference and allied facilities giving the right
atmosphere for a very good conference.
Over 240 delegates attended the AGM and 400 attended
the Conference in total over the three days. The Organising
Committee in Kilkenny did a magnificent job. Every detail was
covered, every eventuality scrutinised and legislated for and
one could not be more fulsome in the praise of the work of the
Local Committee. Responsibility for individual events was
delegated to individual members of the Committee and they
were then expected to come up trumps. Suffice to say that in
all cases they seemed to have a full hand of trumps.
The theme of the Conference was about finding out “Where
is the light?”. This led to a broad discussion about the current
state of the trade, the impediments to survival, the
impediments to growth and some views on how that future
might be made a little brighter with a little bit more light.
There was a lot of discussion about the need for consumer
confidence to be reinvigorated and for a clear plan from
Government in respect of what is coming down the track over
the next number of years. That might encourage those who
have money and are afraid to spend to loosen the purse
strings. This would help not only the pub trade but the total
retail sector. Allied to that there is a need to look at the
current mortgage situation and see where relief can be given,
make decisions and implement those decisions.
The workshop in the afternoon was very well attended and
centred on the possibilities in terms of organising events
VFI Update
within the pub. Allied to this a
booklet, “Guide to Events”, was
launched. This booklet, a copy of
which will be circulated to every
member, gives basic ideas on
things that publicans might do to
help revive their business and to
integrate further with the local
community. It is at times like these
that innovation is required and
there are some ideas in this that may
be of benefit to individual publicans
and some that you may decide are
for others.
A full overview of the activities for the year and the
implications of some of those was outlined by the Company
Secretary, Michael Fitzgerald. Michael concentrated on areas
such as Minimum Pricing, Physical Segregation in the OffTrade, the ongoing activities of supermarkets and SKY and
areas around Budget and Excise.
The outgoing Treasurer, Liam Fitzpatrick, gave a full outline
of the accounts for the year, a copy of which you will have
received with notice of motions for the meeting. Liam also
gave an outline of the finances of the Benevolent Fund and the
income and outgoings to the Fund over the last number of
The outgoing President, Gerry Mellett, gave a stirring final
delivery in respect of the state of the trade and the state of
the nation. He emphatically and firmly laid the blame for the
current mess that the country finds itself in at the door of the
last Government. He was very clear and unambiguous that
what happened in the country over the last number of years
constitutes a crime against the citizens. He was equally
scathing of those that accepted big pensions and hand outs
and refused to face the electorate to answer for the
mismanagement of their activities over a number of years.
He said it is very annoying and soul destroying for people
who have worked long and hard in their businesses, supplying
Government with VAT and PAYE and providing jobs in the
area, to see their business go down the drain as a result of the
inactivity and poor decision making of that Government.
He sent a note of warning to the current Government not to
let the same mess happen again and to take some action to
address the debt levels that both the country and its individual
citizens are facing. He expressed concern that with the current
rate of licence renewal that many pubs will not be trading in
12 or 18 months time.
The incoming President, Gerry Rafter, urged as many
publicans as possible to get really involved in the Federation,
to bring forward new ideas and concerns and to collectively
work to improve the lot of the publican.
Gerry committed to spending some time in each of the
counties over the next two years and to meet publicans in their
own environment, in their own area, to hear their concerns and
the issues that are really affecting them on the ground. While
understanding that there are a massive number of issues to be
worked on, Gerry committed to prioritising the whole area of
minimum pricing, physical segregation and a ban on price
based advertising to be achieved over the next number of
He also said that there would be big opportunities in 2013,
right across the country, to take advantage of “The
Gathering”, a Government led initiative in respect of increased
tourism. Gerry also urged publicans to involve themselves in
the IT world and to become computer literate as lack of
proficiency in this area is going to impinge upon business
development in the coming years.
working and business life of publicans.
He pointed out the need for change and the fact that the
world has changed and all businesses, including publicans,
need to change with it. Not being computer literate in today’s
world is like not being able to read and write 30 years ago. He
said we need to think outside the box. We need to visualise
what is coming down the tracks. We need to visualise the type
of pub that you, as a publican, would like to visit and then see
how your own establishment matches up to that.
He emphasised the importance of the basics and referred to
principals employed by Jumeirah, one of the biggest hotel
conglomerates in the world, like “smile before the customer
can smile at you” and “the word “no” is no longer an option”.
He related the importance of being there, being on the
premises and being an example.
Liam spelt out the importance of the business community
needing to be united and suggested that all of the
representative associations should look to see how they can
combine their skills and numbers to become a more powerful
lobby. He said that the biggest business lobby of the lot, IBEC,
is really a focal point for semi-states, banks and very large
companies and doesn’t really represent the small people.
He referred to the rates situation and went on public record
saying that his own rates bill is €500,000 per annum and that
there does not appear to be a willingness at administrative
level to tackle the high cost of local administration.
Liam’s contribution was to the core, relevant, energetically
delivered and well received.
The keynote speaker for our AGM was Liam Griffin. Liam has a
high media profile through his involvement in the GAA for
many years but Liam started out his working life as a publican
and has developed a network of three very fine hotels in
Wexford and Kilkenny. He had a very enlightening message for
delegates and his message covered many aspects of the
VFI CEO, Padraig Cribben, President Gerry Rafter, Minister Phil Hogan
and Senator Imelda Henry.
Guest speaker Liam Griffin addresses the AGM.
Phil Hogan, who is a representative for the Kilkenny
Constituency and Government Minister for the Environment,
spoke at the Gala Dinner on Tuesday night. He pledged
fundamental reform of the Local Authority system that should
lead to reduced rates for the business community. He said
that he would unveil in June a new system of Local Authority
and that this system should bring a high level of savings and
that business community must ensure that a high level of those
savings are passed on to reduce rates.
The Conference was deemed on many fronts to be
successful and was business like, while at the same time having
a good social element. As always with these events the
opportunities for networking is as important as the business
itself and it was evident and obvious that quite a high level of
networking was engaged in and achieved.
June/July 2012
VFI Update
National Executive Council
June/July 2012
Ronnie Nally
Kevin McKiernan
Andrew Smyth
Paul O’Neill
Kevin Heffernan
Chris Lavelle
Tom Cafferkey
Seamus Flood
John Smyth
John Jackman
Carmel Reddy
Jimmy Murray *
Tony Walker
Des Hassett
Finbar Frawley
Sean McDonald
Noreen Corkery
Michael O’Mahony
Rea Kennedy
Con Dennehy*
Barry O’Brien
Michael Farrell
Shirley McIntyre
Emmet Lynch
ROSCOMMON Eddie Creighton
Larry Brennan
Martin Gibbons
Ronan McGuigan
Adrian Tansey*
Mary Callaghan
Terry Tyson* National Treasurer
Pat Gilmore
Tim Broderick
Donal Younge
Aisling Kiely
Noreen O’Sullivan*
Mick McCarthy
Ger Counihan
Christy Walsh
Michael Fitzgerald* Company Secretary
Michael Power
Kevin Lawlor
Melanie Treacy
Declan Rooney
Tom Silke
Liam Murphy
Pat Crotty
Tom Dunbar*
Michael Gleeson
John Hosey
Mary Foy
PJ Kavanagh
Paul Moynihan
Pat Hoey
Jim Glancy
Jerry O’Dea*
David Hickey
VFI Update
Martin O’Dea
*denotes also on Management Committee
FEATURE Conference 2012
Con Dennehy
Pat Crotty
Michael Fitzgerald (Chair)
Kevin Lawlor
Michael Gleeson
Tom Dunbar
Michael Farrell
■ Britvic Licensed Wholesale
■ Coca Cola Bottlers Ireland
Adrian Tansey
Mike Power
■ Diageo Ireland
■ FBD Insurance (Main Sponsor)
■ Heineken Ireland
Jimmy Murray (Chair)
PJ Kavanagh
Gerry Gallagher
■ Ballygowan
■ Bulmers Ltd
Terry Tyson (Chair)
Paul Moynihan
Larry Brennan
The President and Management Committee wish to
record their sincere thanks to all of those individuals
and companies who contributed, by way of
sponsorship, to make Conference 2012 the great
success that it was. In particular, we would like to record
our appreciation of:
Jerry O’Dea
Tom Cafferkey
■ Irish Distillers Group
■ Molson Coors
■ Richmond Marketing
June/July 2012
Gerry Rafter (Chair)
Noreen O’Sullivan
Ger Counihan
VFI Update
VFI Update
June/July 2012
25ft x 3 ft banner .................€190.00 plus vat
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To Order Just Call
4018630 or 4018632 or
Quantum Fulfilment, Unit 43 Block 613, Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.
VFI Update
at a glance!!!
Right: Maeve and
Eric Montgomery
(Scottish Licensed
Trade Association).
Wicklow Ladies: Pictured from back left are Wicklow Ladies Marion
Moore, Ann Dowling, Anna Clarke Moynihan, Maree Horan, Corina
Fitzpatrick; Front Row: Mary King, Claire Phelan and Natacia Angius.
Tipperary delegates Jim & Noreen O'Sullivan pictured with Aisling &
Jerome Kiely at the Gala Dinner.
Declan Rooney and John Moriarty, delegates from Westmeath.
Limerick Delegates Sheila Mc Hugh and Mary Cronin.
Elaine Bookle (Kilkenny) pictured with Patsy Tyson (Galway).
Sligo Delegates: L-R: Dympna Harrison (Sligo), Maura Clarke (Roscommon),
Adrian Tansey (Sligo), Senator Imelda Henry, Minister Phil Hogan, Patricia
McCann, Peter Henry and Ita Connolly, all Sligo at the Gala Dinner.
June/July 2012
Katherine Cahill, Nuala Fitzgibbon and Noreen Corkery, from Cork at
the Gala Dinner.
Pat Carroll (Kilkenny County Chairman), Gerry Rafter (VFI President) and
Kilkenny Mayor, David Fitzgerald.
VFI Update
VFI Head Office Staff pictured on the Wednesday night at Conference:
Liam Nolan, Marian Judge, Padraig Cribben, Amanda Brock, VFI
President Gerry Rafter, Elaine Comerford, Marie Conlon, Janine Jamieson.
Set-top-boxes vary in price and in some of their functions.
They tend to average at around €80.
SAORVIEW is the new digital television service. It will
replace the analogue television service which will be
switched off on October 24 2012 and for some people
that means they need to take action.
If you currently receive your television service via an aerial
only, SAORVIEW is the replacement television service for
you. If you are a pay tv subscriber (such as SKY, UPC) your
services will be unaffected.
SAORVIEW is available to 98% of the population. To check
that SAORVIEW is available where you live, or to get more
information about your local transmitter, you can check the
website coverage checker at www.saorview.ie or you can
call the designated information line Lo Call 1850 222 012.
The new digital service, SAORVIEW, has all of your
favourite Irish channels (RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3 and TG4)
plus four new television channels (RTÉ News Now, RTÉ Jnr,
3e and RTÉ One + 1). The service also has all of the RTÉ
radio stations available, along with a digital version of RTÉ
Aertel and an electronic programme guide (EPG) which
provides you with listings and basic information about the
TV schedule. All of this is available free to air – no ongoing
subscription or monthly bill.
The aerial feed cable is connected to the back of the set
top box and a separate connector (such as a HDMI cable
or a scart lead) is then used to connect the set-top-box to
the television. There will be instructions with each box to
advise how to tune in the new channels.
Step 1. Check Coverage. 97% of Irish people can get
SAORVIEW in their area now. Check if SAORVIEW is
available in your area using our simple online coverage
checker available at www.saorview.ie
Step 2. Your Aerial. Ideally you need a rooftop UHF
aerial to get SAORVIEW. If you can get the four Irish
channels with your aerial, it is likely fine to get
Step 3. Choose Equipment. Decide on the equipment
you need. Do you want to keep your TV or get a new
one? If you want to keep your old TV, you need a
SAORVIEW Approved set-top-box. If you want a new
TV, make sure it’s SAORVIEW Approved.
Step 4. Set-up. Connect your new SAORVIEW
Approved equipment to your aerial and tune it in. If
you need additional help there are some short helpful
clips on the Set-Up Guides/videos section of the
SAORVIEW website.
More information is available at www.saorview.ie, on
Aertel Page 650 or you can call the designated
information line Lo Call 1850 222 012.
Yes, you will absolutely still need your aerial to receive the
new digital signal. To receive the best signal you ideally
need a rooftop UHF aerial. If you can receive RTÉ One,
RTÉ Two, TV3 and TG4 the aerial you have should be able
to receive the new signal. (A very small number of
households may still have the old VHF aerials which
currently can only receive RTÉ One, RTÉ Two – those
households will need to liaise with a competent local
installer to replace the aerial). There is no such thing as a
digital aerial.
Be wary of anyone who comes to your door without prior
arrangement, saying they need access to your home or
can check your television or aerial. Neither SAORVIEW
nor RTÉ will send anyone to your door to check your
television or aerial.
June/July 2012
Once the digital signal has been transmitted to the aerial
the television needs to be capable of decoding it. Older
TVs (i.e. most likely more than a year old) will need
assistance to decode the new signal and therefore need a
SAORVIEW Approved set top-box to be connected to the
existing television set. New SAORVIEW Approved TV’s
have a built in receiver which enables them to understand
the digital signal directly and don’t need a set-top-box.
VFI Update
Unless there is an
objection, there will be no
need to apply to the
District Court for renewal
of your Licence. You must
envelope approximately four weeks
before your licence falls due for
renewal. All enquiries and
correspondence in relation to Excise
Licences should be directed to the
National Excise Licence Office,
Government Offices, The Glen,
Waterford, tel: 1890 500 400, email:
[email protected]
your intention to renew your Licence
by completing the notice enclosed in
this issue NOW. Fill in the name of
the Licence Holder and the address
of the Licensed Premises in the
appropriate space. The Licensee
then signs and dates the form.
Proceed as follows:
• You are no longer required to submit
documents in support of your licence
application such as Tax Clearance
Certificate, Certificate of
Registration of Business Name,
Certificate of Incorporation, etc.
• However, if there is a change in the
business name since last year, a
Certificate of Registration of
Business Names should be sent to
The form can be delivered or posted by
REGISTERED POST to the Secretary of
the County Council, Corporation or
Borough Council covering the area
where the pub is situated.
NOT charge a processing or other fee
for receipt of this form.
The issue of this form is a service to
members. It should not be given to
June/July 2012
If there is an objection, you must be
advised in writing at least 21 days
before the Licensing Court. (The Fire
Authority Officer can object up to 7
days before the Court). In the event of
an objection, the appropriate
information will be supplied from this
office on request to enable you to go
to Court for the Renewal Certificate.
The licensing year commences
October 1 ends September 30.
Revenue will send you a “Renewal
Notice” that will incorporate your
Payslip together with a pre-paid
VFI Update
• You are now required to declare on a
new-type Renewal Notice/Payslip
that you have these documents, that
they are valid, in date and in your
possession and that you will make
them available to Revenue for
inspection should they be requested.
• The specific documents to be
retained for your particular licence
will be outlined on your new
Renewal Notice.
• Sign the payslip, attach your
payment (cheque or bank draft only
– do not send cash) and send it in
the pre-paid envelope to the
Collector General, Sarsfield House,
Francis Street, PO Box No 413,
3. Check now that you have a current
licence and that the Name on the
licence is the same as the Name on
your Tax Clearance Certificate. If
either requires change, it must be
done immediately, otherwise Licence
Renewal will NOT be granted.
Please note that the following application forms are available from
Head Office, (01) 492 3400 or [email protected]:
• Grant / Renewal of Restaurant Certificate
• Grant / Renewal of Limited Restaurant Certificate
• Grant / Renewal of General Exemption Order
• Grant / Renewal of Dance Licence
• Grant / Renewal of Public Music & Singing Licence
Explanatory notes on completing the forms will be issued to
members on request and there is no need for you to engage the
services of a Solicitor.
There have been a number of variations in the
questions in respect of the Household Charge.
Many publicans are unsure as to whether the nonbusiness part of the premises is liable for the
Household Charge. In many instances, members
are unaware as to whether they have an allowance
for that part of the premises against rates.
You can clarify the situation by contacting the
Valuation Office (www.valoff.ie) who should be
able to furnish you with the details of when you
were rated and what exactly is rated.
Underage Drinking
There are some conflicting items in legislation and it would
appear that the Intoxicating Liquor Act and the Data
Protections Acts are separate and do not appear to have
been drafted in a collective manner and it could be construed
that one places an onus that is contradictory to the other.
Unless an individual has serious doubts as to whether the
Gardaí are conducting a genuine investigation, CCTV should
be made available to the Gardaí. It is also pretty clear that
the Gardaí would have little difficulty in getting a warrant to
enter licensed premises to examine CCTV footage for the
purpose of prevention or detection of an offence.
This particular question was recently before the courts
including the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court case the
presiding Judge said “Garda investigations very often require
persons to give voluntarily and informally to the Gardaí
various items of possible evidential use, such indeed as CCTV
footage”. That would seem to indicate that it is done
voluntarily and informally. Conversely, in a separate case the
Judge found that it is the duty of the Gardaí to seek out
relevant evidence and he thereby would appear to impose an
obligation on the Gardaí to obtain evidence such as CCTV
footage. However, the courts did find that there is an onus on
the Gardaí to act reasonably and to go to reasonable lengths
in seeking out and maintaining the relevant evidence.
It is important to comply with the law in this area and the
penalties for non-compliance are quite severe. They include
mandatory closure for a period of time together with the
requirement to post a notice on the exterior of the
premises as to why the premises is closed. Even greater
damage can be done to the reputation of the publican and
indeed the wider trade.
It is important to be vigilant and to exercise that vigilance
and equally important to ensure that all staff are properly
instructed as to what to do in cases of doubt and what
consequences will take place
for them if they fail to
act accordingly.
June/July 2012
here have been a number of queries in recent times in
respect of the powers that Gardaí have, particularly in
relation to CCTV footage. On this basis, we asked for
some clarification from our legal advisors and in particular the
power of Gardaí to request or to take a copy of CCTV
The whole issue of underage drinking has been widely
aired in the media over the past number of months. When
issues like this get such a high profile it is generally
followed up by some level of activity by the regulatory
authorities. We are aware that in certain parts of the
country test purchasing is being carried out by minors with
a view to ascertaining where underage drinking is being
facilitated and action is being taken. This is not confined to
pubs but is also taking place in licensed shops, licensed
supermarkets and independent off-licenses. The law is
very clear and should be adhered to. If you think
somebody looks under the age of 21 you should ask for
ID. In terms of a defence in court the only ID that will
stand up is the Garda Age Card.
While it is difficult to be definitive it is certainly advisable to
co-operate with the Gardaí particularly in areas where crime
detection or prevention is at stake
VFI Update
Be Wary, Be Cautious, Be Alert How to Protect Your Premises
Tips for Vintners from
ith over 1,000 robberies on
institutions or
establishments in 2011 (CSO
Recorded Crime Statistics), it’s
critically important that licensed
premises take steps to protect their
business and to protect their staff.
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland is
a long-standing partner of
Crimestoppers and we’ve teamed up
to give vintners some practical advice
on how best to protect your premises.
As a first step, carry out an audit of
your premises to ascertain just how
secure it is. Identify the weak spots
and take steps to remedy them. While
doing this, try to put yourself in the
shoes of someone breaking in. Are
you making it hard or easy for them?
Remember that criminals like easy
opportunities. If they have to make a
lot of noise, spend a lot of time or risk
being seen, the chances are they
won’t bother. Your physical security
should be sufficiently robust to either
delay them long enough for someone
to respond or to deny them so that
they abandon the attack.
June/July 2012
Have you got good quality, solid
doors with strong locking
mechanisms? If not you could be
making it easy for someone to break
Every licensed premises should have
an intruder alarm, and preferably one
that is monitored. Make sure that all
of the external doors and windows,
VFI Update
no matter how small, have a sensor.
If you already have a monitored alarm,
check to make sure that you have a
back up system in place. Many people
have their alarms monitored via their
landline phone with back-up through
GSM. However, considering the
preponderance of blockers and
jammers, it may be advisable to
discuss a reliable back-up solution
with your alarm installer and
monitoring company.
Your alarm installer or monitoring
company will be able to advise you on
the most suitable option depending
on the size and location of your
Many pubs also use CCTV cameras
which, when correctly positioned, can
be a valuable security tool. Consider if
your CCTV system should be
monitored and place the cameras in
key break-in locations to deter
Gardaí have reported an increase in
the theft of beer kegs from outside
licensed premises. Some breweries
make their deliveries before opening
time, leaving them at the side of the
premises and an easy target for
criminals. Kegs should be delivered to
a secure area and someone should be
there to take the delivery.
Across the country, the theft of metals
is on the rise and empty beers kegs
are being stolen for the metal
contained within them. It is important
to remember that if a criminal
succeeds in taking an empty beer keg
from your premises, they could take
something else or come back again.
Empty beer kegs should be stored
somewhere secure to minimise this
As with all businesses, particular
attention needs to be paid to
protecting your highest value items.
In licensed premises, these are
spirits and cigarettes.
Cigarette vending machines are a
particular target. Make sure they’re
located in a visible area of the
premises and not close to a door.
Consider placing a CCTV camera
Your spirits store must be secure
and make sure that any spirits in the
bar area are either in optics or are
out of reach from the bar and away
from any entry points.
Cash security is a concern for all
businesses. It’s important that you
have a cash security policy in place
and that it is part of your staff
Do not let cash build up by
emptying tills regularly. Make sure
cash is transferred to and counted
in a secure location. Leave your
cash tills empty and open
Keep your safe locked at all times.
Safes should be securely anchored
in concrete or block, ideally in the
ground, and not in timber floors or
stud walls which can be removed
If you do not use the services of a
cash-in-transit company then you
must be extremely vigilant not to
leave yourself open to robbery.
When bringing cash to the bank,
vary your time and route.
Who brings your cash to the
bank? Remember you have a duty
of care to them as an employer.
Are they experienced and safetyconscious enough? Consider
sending two people to the bank
rather than letting one go on their
Pay particular attention to your
personal safety at opening and
closing time. If you have a CCTV
system, then check it before you
leave. If you see someone acting
suspiciously then wait a few
moments to see if they leave. If
not then call the Gardaí.
Have a good look around in the
morning before you open up. Is
everything as it was when you
locked up last night? If you are
unsure do not take any chances.
Drug taking and drug dealing is
something every vintner would like to
Be proactive and liaise with your local
Gardaí, they will work with you to
prevent drug taking and drug dealing
happening on your premises.
2. Make sure you have an intruder
alarm (preferably monitored with
an appropriate back-up)
3. Train your staff on your security
policy covering opening and
closing and the handling of cash
Check your toilets regularly for signs
of drug taking.
4. If you do not use a cash in transit
company, then make sure you vary
your time and route when bringing
cash to the bank
Report all incidents of drug dealing to
the Gardaí. This is the greatest
deterrent you have.
5. Contact your local Garda Crime
Prevention Officer for further
1. Make sure you have good quality,
secure doors and windows
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland is
a long-standing partner of
1800 25 00 25
Make the right call. Now.
Minister for Children launches Show
Me I.D - Be Age OK Awareness Week
Awareness Week aims to prevent sale of age restricted products to underage minors
Speaking at the event Minister Frances Fitzgerald welcomed
the campaign saying “It is an extremely valuable step in
preventing the sale of age restricted products to children. It
is important to assist those at the front line, the retailers, by
giving them easy access to support materials and
information. I am very pleased that all trade associations
involved have been able to do this with the Show Me I.D- Be
Age OK campaign”.
‘Show Me I.D – Be Age Ok’ was first launched in July 2010
and since then the initiative has grown to become the youth
access prevention programme of choice for many retailers
nationwide. To promote the Awareness Week a nationwide
media campaign was rolled out with a campaign poster
appearing on over 1,200 tobacco vending machines around
Ireland, a Show Me I.D branded token for cigarette vending
machines distributed to bars
and restaurants and Show Me
I.D promotional packs including
folders, t-shirts, caps and
badges provided to retail stores
across the country.
Resource materials and a staff
training programme are
available on www.showmeid.ie
which aims to advise retailers
how to avoid the underage sale
of tobacco products.
June/July 2012
Show Me I.D - Be Age OK Awareness Week has been
launched by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances
Fitzgerald TD with the aim of preventing the sale of age
restricted products to underage minors. The campaign has
been supported by the Convenience Stores and Newsagents
Association (CSNA), the representative organisation for
independent family grocers (RG Data), the National
Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN), Japan Tobacco
International (JTI Ireland), the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland
(VFI), the National Off-Licence Association (NOFFLA) and
the South Dublin Chamber of Commerce (SDC).
VFI Update
Contracts of Employment
There are often many
questions asked about what
family members can and
cannot do and at what age
they can do certain things.
Members are reminded of their obligations to furnish all employees with
contracts of employment.
The terms and conditions that must be included in a contract are:
• the full name of the employer
• the address of the employer, which normally is given as the
registered office of the company
• the place of work of the employee
• the title of the job or the nature of the work for which the
employee is employed
• the date of commencement of the employee’s contract of
• for temporary contracts, the expected duration of the contract
• for Fixed Term contracts, the date on which the contract expires
• the rate of pay or method of calculating pay
• the pay intervals for the employee
• any terms and conditions relating to hours of work
• any terms and conditions relating to paid leave
• any terms and conditions relating to incapacity for work due to
sickness or injury and relating to paid sick leave
• any terms and conditions relating to pensions and pension schemes
June/July 2012
• the period of notice, which the employee is required to give and
entitled to receive reference to any collective agreements that
directly affect the employees terms and conditions
Sample contracts of employment are available from Head Office on
request, or they can be downloaded from the Legislation / Employment
section of www.vfi.ie in the members area.
VFI Update
The first thing to remember is,
particularly in the wider family
scene, that proper contracts of
employment should be put in
place. Very often family
disagreements are the most
difficult to solve and this is no
different in an industrial
relations field. It is better to
have the ground rules firmly
established and, where
possible, to have the
arrangements put in place in a
business like manner rather
than in any haphazard way.
Family members also have
rights and responsibilities
when it comes to employment
The most frequently asked
question is ‘can family
members serve alcohol and at
what age?’ A publican can
allow his/her son or daughter,
brother or sister, stepdaughter or step-son,
step-sister or step-brother or
sister-in-law or brother-in-law
who resides with him/her and
is over the age of 16 to serve
alcohol. The only other person
that is allowed to serve alcohol
who is under the age of 18 is
an individual who is
apprenticed to the holder of
the licence in a recognised
apprenticeship. People over
the age of 16 but under the
age of 18 may be employed in
general duties but not in the
sale of alcohol. General duties
include taking orders for drink
and serving it at tables but not
supplying it from behind the
bar counter in the premises.
Be Vigilant
There are continuous ongoing efforts in
many diverse ways to part publicans and
other business people from their money.
We are not referring to the very obvious
criminal activity of theft that is
happening on an increased basis and
scale. There are many more subtle, but
equally painful, scams in place at
present and the criminals and crooks are
becoming more inventive in their
methods of work.
The important thing is to be vigilant and
question any request for money, for
signatures, for banking details and most
importantly the lure of easy money. We
are aware that some of the fraudsters
are referring to schemes that have been
approved by or
recommended by the
Federation. Be aware that we
will give no recommendation to any
third party without first making
individual members aware of that
We continue to have issues with
members signing up to services that
insufficient thought is given to prior to
signature. This results in significant
problems because once a contract is
signed a contract is in place and it is
very difficult to extricate oneself from
such a contract. These vary from
advertising agencies to service providers
to product suppliers. The best advice is
rather than
signing something
on the spot always take
time to consider in the cold
light of day when the sales
person is gone and you really assess
your needs and the capability of the
service to meet those needs.
We have made this plea on many
occasions but it still seems to fall on
deaf ears from time to time and it is
becoming more difficult to try and
extricate people from commitments that
they have made by way of contract.
Publicans show support for
Volvo Ocean Race with
Presentation of Cheque
Terry Tyson, Chairman of the Galway City
Vintners said, “This cheque is a token of
our appreciation of the business this
great event brings to the city and in
anticipation of a good week for Galway.
The pub trade has struggled over the
past number of years and the Volvo
Ocean Race has been a lifeline, bringing
an influx of business during the event.”
Terry Tyson, Chairman Galway City VFI presenting John Killeen, President “Lets Do it Global” with a cheque on behalf of its members. Also in the
picture are Tom McDonogh, Tony Freaney, Pat Riordan & David Keogh. Photo: Joe Travers.
VFI Update
June/July 2012
In a show of support for the Volvo Ocean
Race organiser’s commitment to Galway,
representatives of the Galway branch of
the VFI recently presented a cheque for
€5,000 to “Lets do it Galway”.
Galway Vintners Raise the Bar
Galway Pubs Get VFI and
Fáilte Ireland Seal of Approval
For more information on the National
Standards Framework Pub
Accreditation and the approval criteria
go to www.failteireland.ie. Publicans
who wish to participate in the scheme
can also contact the VFI or email
[email protected]
VFI Group Life
Scheme with
Irish Life
Thirty-six Galway pubs have been
given the official seal of approval as
part of the VFI and Fáilte Ireland’s
National Pub Accreditation scheme,
“Raising the Bar”.
Leading the way in terms of
consistency and quality of service,
these Galway pubs were recognised at
a presentation at Kelly’s Bar, Bridge
Street, Galway City. Publicans received
a certificate of accreditation as part of
the “Raising the Bar” scheme which
promotes continued high standards in
the pub industry.
The 36 pubs account for more than 30
percent of VFI members in Galway and
a record number of accreditations in
the county signals a dedication by
Galway Vintners to improve and
maintain high standards for visitors
both domestic and international.
Owner of the Rockbarton Park Hotel,
Salthill, and chairman of the Galway
City Vintners, Terry Tyson said, “I am
delighted to see so many pubs in the
city and county committing to this
great initiative. It is important for
publicans to take pride in their
profession, raising standards across the
board and ultimately helping the
industry to get back on its feet.
“This city has a long standing history of
hospitality and the accreditations of
these Galway pubs will safeguard the
future of tourism here; illustrating a
renewed dedication to visitors both at
home and abroad.”
This scheme, set up in 1996,
provides life assurance cover for
participating members. Premiums
are collected by Brendan J. Daly
Ltd who is the broker for the
scheme. Due to an administrative
problem, premiums have not been
collected in the usual way, by
direct debit, since December
2011. Mr. Daly will be writing to
all policy holders shortly to
update them on the situation, and
new direct debit mandates will be
required. Missed payments will be
collected by payment of double
premiums for a number of
months. Irish Life has assured VFI
that cover is not affected and
remains in place despite missed
payments arising from this
11th VFI Fly Fishing Championship
June/July 2012
September 11th and 12th are the dates set for the Fly
Fishing Championship on Lough Mask. Those wishing to
participate should contact Tom Sweeney of Mary Anne’s
Bar, Macroom on 087 662 8644.
The Burke family of Clonbur will provide the hospitality
once again for this two day event – a snip at €150 for
anglers without a boat and €90 for those with a boat,
fantastic value for two days fishing and two evening meals.
Diageo will continue their sponsorship of the competition.
VFI Update
Molson Coors Survey:
• 63% of Irish people go to the pub less than they did 2 years ago; 65% less likely
to go mid-week than 2 years ago
o 57% cite lack of disposable income
o 50% blame price of food and drink
• 49% drink less in their local than they did two years ago
• 60% feel the pub has a positive impact on the community
When asked what they want from
their local pub that they’re not
currently getting, 36% of the Irish
public polled said free WiFi, 35%
would like live music entertainment,
29.8% want better food, 27.8% called
for better toilets, 26.6% would like a
shuttle bus service laid on, 23.4%
would like outdoor heating, 21.6%
would like more laughs with live
comedy, 20.6% want to test their
knowledge in a pub quiz, 14.6% want
their own dedicated smoking area,
10% would like to join a pub sports
team, and 7.6% would be happier if
their local provided social network
feeds. Unsurprisingly, 65% want
cheaper drinks.
Niall Phelan, Country Manager,
Molson Coors Ireland, said “Everyone
knows the pub industry has been in
steep decline for some time now. We
conducted this research so we could
help publicans identify what their
customers are looking for, and as a
means to help address and improve
some of the issues the industry is
currently facing. While price is
typically a barrier to growth in a
stagnant economy, the research
illustrates that by offering value
added services like free WiFi,
entertainment and better food and
facilties, pubs can meet customer
expectations and attract footfall
without actually resorting to ongoing
price reductions.”
Off the back of the research findings,
Molson Coors’ brilliantly refreshing
lager brand Carling will make
available a €150,000 fund that will be
used to help pubs implement
changes identified in the research
that would positively impact their
business and the consumer
experience. More details will be
announced shortly.
The research also revealed a lot of
detail about the decline in pub going
frequency, the reasons behind this
decline, the current habits and
perceptions surrounding pubs’ food
offerings and the potential that the
emerging craft beers market
According to the Molson Coors
research, a worrying 63% of pub
goers visit their local less than they
did two years ago: close to 31%
(30.8%) go a little less, and 31.8%, a
lot less – statistics that don’t bode
well for a rosy future for the Irish pub
industry unless something changes.
65.1% are less likely to go to the pub
mid-week than compared with 12 to
24 months ago. 33% of the people
surveyed go to the pub once a week,
11% every few days, 14.2%
fortnightly, and 13.8% once per
VFI Update
June/July 2012
ith pubs around the country
continuing to close at a rate
of one every two days, a
new study commissioned by Molson
Coors, one of the World’s biggest
beer brewers which set-up in Dublin
and Belfast in 2010, has revealed that
63% of Irish pub goers go to their
local less than they did two years
ago, but 86% (85.7%) would visit
their local more frequently if pubs
offered features such as free WiFi and
better food and entertainment. The
countrywide research looked at the
changing habits of the Irish pub
going public over the past two years
and what the Irish pub industry needs
to provide them in order to increase
more frequent visits and increase its
survival chances.
The study revealed that 45.9% drink
more at home than they used to two
years ago. The reasons cited for this
shift in habits were: 57% don’t have
as much disposable income, 49.6%
say the price of food and drink puts
them off, 22% say family
commitments have forced a change,
19.6% say their friends don’t go as
much which impacts their own
frequency, 16.2% say they just got out
of the habit of going, and 7.4% say
the entertainment is better at home
than down the pub.
The research shows a great
opportunity for pubs to increase their
footfall and revenue potential by
offering better food options than they
currently do, if at all. The study shows
that 37% of people go to the pub to
eat lunch or dinner, but only 18% eat
in a pub at least once a week, and
22% only eat once every three months
or more. 58% of females say their
main reason for going to the pub is to
eat lunch or dinner.
Commenting on the food findings
Phelan said, “Our research tells us
that 30% of people want better food
served in pubs. There is clearly
potential for considerable
improvement and the low
percentages of people who eat
regularly in pubs would suggest that
either the lunch and dinner crowd are
not being catered to, or their
perception of pubs being places
offering good food experiences is
askew and needs to be remedied.
Publicans should also see good food
offerings as a way to attract more
female customers.”
The Molson Coors survey also
highlighted that Irish consumers seem
to be very much in favour of trying
new beers, with a keen interest in
exploring craft beers -- a category
that could represent growth potential
for Irish publicans. 39.2% of those
surveyed said the availability of craft
beers in their local pub would make
them more likely to visit the pub more
often, and 65.9% said that if bar staff
were trained on craft beers and could
give customers a recommendation on
beers to try that it would increase
their pub experience.
SMOOTH – Make the move to smooth
consumers would try the product again, which has given us
great confidence. We are really excited about this new
refreshing alternative to stout, ale and lager and we call on you
too to make the move to smooth.”
Caledonia Smooth is a nitrogenated draught beer at 4% ABV.
Malted and roasted in flavour, with a combination of both
brown and amber malts, it is sweet with a pleasant hoppy
bitterness from the use of no less than 3 different hop varieties.
The recommended RSP for Caledonia Smooth is the same
price as a pint of stout and it is available in 50 litre kegs in
select outlets nationwide.
Darren Geraghty and Louise Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Group with Ross
Bissett, Commercial Manager, Bulmers at the launch of Caledonia
Smooth at the Palace Bar.
Donegal VFI Raise Funds for The MS Society
Bulmers Ltd. has launched a new beer onto the Irish beer
market, Caledonia Smooth. Exclusive to the on-trade, the new
smooth draught beer brings innovation and more choice to the
beer category.
June/July 2012
Speaking at the launch, Stephen Kent, Marketing Director,
Bulmers Ltd., said, “Bulmers is absolutely delighted to add
another brand to our ever-growing and evolving portfolio.
After carefully exploring the opportunities with the Irish
consumer, we created a bespoke draught beer, which we feel
is ideal for the Irish drinks market. Our research has shown
that consumers don’t want to drink lager all year round, neither
do they want to drink stout all night. So we went about
producing a smoother, less gassy product than lager and a
lighter alternative to stout. This is Caledonia Smooth.
Caledonia Smooth is described as a smooth, light and creamy
pint with a rich amber colour and perfectly balanced flavour. It
is a beer that settles like a stout, with a creamy head that lasts
the length of the pint. Our research has shown that 80% of
VFI Update
At the Donegal Vintners Dinner Dance this year €900 was raised
for the MS Society. Pictured from back left are VFI members
Francie Harkin, Rory O’Donnell, Martin Gibbons, Gerry Gallagher
(Chairman) , Ronan McGuigan and Alice Lynch. Mary Harkin is in
the front row making the presentation of €900 to Clement Clarke
Chairman of the MS Society, Donegal Branch, with Bridget Clarke
MS Society and Patsy McFadden.
Proudly sponsored by
Andy Byrne
Memorial Trophy
Monday 14th May 2012,
Kilkenny Golf Course
Sponsored by Britvic Licensed Wholesale
The winner of the Heineken Red Star for June issue
Catherine Morrissey,
Morrissey's, New Ross, Co Wexford.
WINNING €1,000
The red star in the Heineken logo is a well known
trade mark for the brand and has been for a very
long time now. We have hidden the red star
somewhere in this issue (NOT ON THIS PAGE) of
VFI Update magazine. All you have to do is send
the number of the page the star appears on to the
address shown below. It couldn’t be any easier, so
go and find the page and enter the competition
Pictured are James Farrell (Kilkenny) winner of the Andy Byrne
Memorial Cup, John Hosey (VFI National Golf Captain), Gerry
Mellett and Tom Dermody (Britvic Wholesale)
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
James Farrell (8)
Alan Gielty (15)
25pts (back 9)
Michael O’Donnell (13)
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
Peggy Hickey (24)
Mary Foy (21)
Noreen O’Sullivan (19)
Category 1
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
Terry Gilsenan (13)
Christy Walsh (14)
Tom Ryan (13)
Category 2
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
Denis Corbett (18)
Jim O’Sullivan (15)
Martin Maybury (17)
Category 3
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
John Halpin (20)
Terry Cawley (23)
Don O’Sullivan (19)
24pts (back 9)
22pts (back 9)
Answers by email ([email protected]),
fax 01 492 3577 or postcard clearly stating your
name and address, contact number and VFI
membership number to Heineken Competition,
VFI House, Castleside Drive,
Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.
Peggy Hickey (Limerick) won 1st prize in the Ladies competition
at the Monday golf. She's pictured here with Gerry Mellett,
Tom Dermody (Britvic Wholesale) and John Hosey (VFI National
Golf Captain)
VFI Update
June/July 2012
Joe O’Donnell
Memorial Trophy
Wednesday 16th May 2012,
Mount Juliet Golf Course
Sponsored by Coca Cola Bottlers Ireland
Past President Gerry Mellett relaxes at the 3rd green in Mount Juliet in
the Joe O'Donnell Memorial competition with John Brennan and
Michael Lambe
Kildare Vintners’ Golf Society
Fixture for 2012
June, Tue19th
Craddockstown G.C.
July, Tue 17th
The Heritage G.C.
Captain’s Prize
August, Wed 8th
Athy G.C.
Premiere Hygiene
August, 20th/21st
Away Trip To
Slieve Russell Hotel
President’s Prize
Britvic Wholesale
Sept, Wed 12th
Naas G.C.
Oct, Tue 9th
Knockanally G.C
Febvre Wines
New members welcome, contact Peter Norton 087 284 9049.
John O'Malley (Laois) won the Joe O'Donnell Trophy and is
pictured here with John Hosey (VFI National Golf Captain),
Brian Quill (Coca Cola) and VFI President, Gerry Rafter.
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
John O’Malley (7)
Michael O’Donnell (13)
Larry Walshe (12)
35pts (back 9)
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
Eileen Deady (28)
Peggy Hickey (24)
Marie O’Mahoney (25)
Category 1
1st Place:
James Farrell (8)
2nd Place: Tom Ryan (13)
3rd Place:
Robert Delaney (14)
33pts (back 9)
Category 2
1st Place:
Michael O’Donovan (18) 33pts (back 9)
2nd Place: Stephen Farrell (17)
3rd Place:
Tom Corrigan (17)
June/July 2012
Category 3
1st Place:
Declan Rooney (23)
2nd Place: Martin O’Dea (19)
3rd Place:
Tim Sheehan (20)
Donal O’Gorman, Captain of Kildare Vintners G.S. presenting a
cheque for €1,000 to Jim Fenlon of SAPLING’S – Education for
VFI Update
Marie O'Mahony (Cork) won 3rd prize in the Ladies competition
at the Joe O' Donnell golf in Mount Juliet. Pictured here with
John Hosey, (VFI National Golf Captain), Brian Quill (Coca Cola)
and VFI President, Gerry Rafter.
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every
3x3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. A number can
appear only once on every row, only once on each column
and only once on each 3x3 box. There’s no math involved.
Nothing has to add up to anything else. You solve the
puzzle with reasoning and logic.
It’s fun. It’s challenging. It’s addictive.
Last issue’s solutions
June/July 2012
VFI Update
March 2011
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