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Priest told: Don't poop our parties.

A PRIEST was branded a killjoy last night after he called for a millennium booze ban.

Pioneer priest Fr Michael McGreil said he wants to see drinking on the streets banned and pubs closed for the year 2000 party.

But party organisers hit back and said the Galway cleric is simply a stick-in-the-mud.

"It's not a runner," said a spokesman for the government's Millennium Committee.

"It's a unique night and people are going to celebrate it with a drink."

But Fr McGreil insisted: "We don't want the New Year to be a drunken orgy celebrated in pubs as it should be a family celebration.

"But if the millennium party is to be celebrated in pubs there will be no time for the old or the young.

"That's no way to have a family celebration."

He told a Galway Pioneer conference that publicans should follow moves of some West of Ireland bar owners who have decided to close up for the big night.

"I would encourage every urban council in Ireland to pass by-laws to prohibit drinking in the streets and footpaths.

"I would also call for a special Garda unit to deal with the abuse of alcohol among young people," he said.

"Our best allies are responsible publicans who will ensure a sober use of drink but you can't do that if you have people drinking in the streets."
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Tallant, Nicola
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 26, 1999
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