Short shrift for disabled man

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The manager of an Islington pub was criticised yesterday for refusing to serve a disabled man a double vodka.

Mike Devenney, who has cerebral palsy and who is a former chair of Islington's social services committee, went to the Nag's Head on Upper Street on Monday afternoon for a drink to mark his last day as a councillor.

When he ordered a large vodka, he was told by the manager, John Moran, that 'it was not in his own interests'. 'I just popped in for a sunny day drink and they refused to serve me,' said Mr Devenney.

'The man said I might have been on medication and that people like me shouldn't drink because it didn't suit me. But I don't take medication.

'It seems a bit ironic that this week the Disabled Persons Bill went down the pan. If we had a Bill like that maybe I could have taken some legal action, but all I can do is write formally to the manager.'

Mr Moran said he refused to serve Mr Devenney because he thought he might be on medication: 'If he fell over outside I would have felt guilty about serving him.

'He was quite badly disabled and on his own. That was the only reason I refused him. I don't discriminate against disabled people. I offered to serve him a single vodka or a beer. I didn't chuck him out.'

Mary Holland, assistant director of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR), said: 'This is a blatant example of discrimination on the grounds of disability and illustrates that we must have a Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill.

'This publican has no right to refuse to serve him a single, double or a triple drink.'

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