Hospitality providers across County Clare, including bar, restaurant, café and hotel owners, are being invited to help make Clare a safer destination in which to socialise by committing to the ‘Ask For Angela’ code-word campaign.
The Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC), comprising Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, Elected Members and community representatives, have teamed up with the Clare branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and Ennis Chamber to support the roll-out of the campaign, which encourages people who find themselves in an uncomfortable situation while socialising to ‘Ask For Angela’ at the bar or service counter. The phrase alerts staff that something is amiss and they can proceed to safely diffuse the situation. Participating businesses and venues will display signage in discreet locations to indicate they are taking part in the programme.
The Ask For Angela campaign was first piloted in Ennis in 2018 and this campaign has proven to be an effective method of encouraging people who feel unsafe or vulnerable in hotels, pubs, clubs or restaurants, but feel they are not able to openly seek support, to ask a staff member for assistance. The members of the Clare JPC, Vintners’ Federation and Ennis Chamber are committed to supporting the roll-out of this initiative across the county.
An Garda Síochána work closely with local businesses, Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber on the Purple Flag initiative, to ensure that anyone socialising in Ennis has a fun and safe experience. However, in some cases, people may feel at risk and isolated or afraid to seek help. The Ask for Angela initiative gives patrons at participating venues a simple way to seek assistance if they feel at all at risk.
Cllr John Crowe, Chair of Clare Joint Policing Committee, said: “On behalf of the Joint Policing Committee, I am delighted to see this initiative being re-launched and advancing here in Clare. We are leading the way in promoting Clare as a safe place to socialise.”
Superintendent John Galvin said: “I believe this is an excellent initiative and fully support it within the Clare Garda Division. We know from experience that on a night out, people can find themselves in very uncomfortable and threatening situations and need the support of others. This is particularly true when they are in unfamiliar surroundings or separated from their friends. To have hospitality staff who are aware of the Ask for Angela initiative provides that support and comfort and will undoubtedly ensure they remain safe when faced with these challenges.”
Charlie O’Meara, Chair of the Clare branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, said: “The Clare branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland is delighted to be part of the Ask For Angela initiative and support it in any way possible. In conjunction with the Ennis Purple Flag initiative, we are helping to make the night-time economy safer for everyone.”