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Another blow for Diageo 'careful drinking' group - as second board member quits

Psychologist Krystian Fikert has quit the board of ‘Stop Out-Of-Control Drinking’. Dr Ciara Kelly stepped down earlier this month.

One of the groups posters.
One of the groups posters.
Image: Stop Out of Control Drinking

IT’S JUST OVER a month old, but the Diageo-backed ‘responsible drinking’ group ‘Stop Out-Of-Control Drinking’ has been hit with another setback.

Psychologist Krystian Fikert of the MyMind mental health centre has stepped down as a member of the board.

“We are very grateful to Krystian for his valued contribution to the campaign over several months,” a statement from Stop Out-Of-Control Drinking said tonight.

“Our goal is to make out-of-control drinking socially unacceptable in our society.

“It is a big task and increasingly requires a lot of time over and above our members’ professional commitments.

“As a result our voluntary board will continue to change and adapt to peoples’ circumstances and the needs of the campaign.”

A statement from MyMind said its aim in 2015 was to “focus on our mission to increase availability of quick and affordable mental wellbeing services”.

“As such, and due to resource restraints within our organisation, it is no longer possible for MyMind to sit on the board of the Stop Out­ of­ Control Drinking campaign.

“We wish campaign members the very best in their endeavours.”

Second board member

GP and radio presenter Dr Ciara Kelly stepped down from the board earlier this month.

The group has also been criticised for its ties to Diageo in an open letter signed by the likes of comedian Des Bishop, folk singer Christy Moore and TD Róisín Shortall.

Responding to that criticism earlier this month, a spokesperson for Stop Out-of-Control Drinking group said, “Fergus Finlay (chairman of the group) has said that he respects everyone’s opinion on it but it is very premature to judge”.

He went to say:

While Diageo provides the money, they don’t control the board. There are no shares allocated on the board.

The drinks company has provided substantial financial backing for the campaign. However, none of the group’s board members receive a salary.

Read: Anti-alcohol campaign group say criticism is “premature”

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