Celtic pub granted right to let children in despite health concerns

The 1888 bar, which claims to be the closest pub to the club's Parkhead home, beat a licensing board objection against the plans.

Glasgow Celtic pub allowed to let children in on matchdays despite health concerns Facebook / 1888 Bar

A pub near Celtic Park used by fans on match days can now let children in – despite health chiefs’ concerns over “exposure” to alcohol.

The 1888 bar on London Road has been granted permission to vary its licence to serve meals and allow access for children and young people.

Licensing lawyer Stephen McGowan, representing the bar, said the application had been launched after a request from supporters’ buses bringing families to Celtic games.

But Glasgow’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) opposed the plan due to “concerns regarding the safety and exposure of children and young persons to alcohol-rich environments”.

A representative told the city’s licensing board: “As children grow up, their attitudes towards alcohol will be influenced by what they see, hear or experience. Protection from negative consequences of alcohol consumption is essential to mitigate potential harm. 

“Evidence indicates that drinking behaviours adopted in formative teenage years track strongly back into adult life, a key reason why the chief medical officer advocates for an alcohol-free childhood as the healthiest option.”

The HSCP spokeswoman said the pub is in an area, the Parkhead West and Barrowfield data zone, which “continues to return some of our highest alcohol related health harms in the city”.

While the health partnership welcomed the addition of bar meals, the representative said: “Providing food does not actually create a family-friendly environment for socialising. 

“We respectfully suggest this is not a suitable environment for children and young persons and is inconsistent with the licensing objective of protecting children and young persons from harm.”

Mr McGowan said the “well known” Celtic pub, which first opened in the 1960s, is used by a number of supporters’ buses and fans have requested an “area where children can come into the premises before they go off to the match”.

He said a small room in the pub, which mainly opens on match days, has been identified, with its own entrance, so children aren’t in the main bar. 

Children and young people will be “permitted access when a Celtic home game is being played, accompanied by an adult, seated and consuming a snack or a light meal”. 

Mr McGowan said the HSCP had made a “sweeping statement” about football pubs which “doesn’t seem to be supported by any evidence of harm in relation to these premises”.

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