The head of the Vintners’ Federation has called for sterner deterrents to prevent violence against publicans, warning that a publican or bar worker could be killed if nothing is done.
Following recent high-profile attacks on publicans across the country, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) have called for publicans to be protected by the law and deterrents to be enacted immediately.
The VFI also stated that those behind the assaults have no real fear of custodial sentences.
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Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the 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.
Cribben added that the VFI estimates that such attacks have increased by 40-50 per cent in recent years.
"This is a wholly unsatisfactory and intolerable situation," he said.
Cribben revealed that publicans have sustained serious facial injuries, broken noses and cracked ribs.
"The situation is being exacerbated by the apparent unwillingness of the Judiciary to hand down appropriate sentences to the convicted in these cases," said Cribben.
“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."