Ard Fheis in brief: Pub cigarette ban call
THE Government must consider banning the sale of cigarettes in all pubs and off-licences, FG members have urged. Delegates at the party Ard Fheis also backed calls for a clampdown on sales of electronic cigarettes.
The party failed to back a call from Limerick city members for a total ban on the sale of all tobacco products from premises that also sell alcohol, including off-licences and supermarkets.
But they did endorse a compromise move pushed by Cork TD Jerry Buttimer for the issue to be passed to Health Minister James Reilly for his consideration.
Mr Buttimer said an outright ban would be too harsh on small traders.
Cian Kelly, of Limerick city constituency executive, told delegates during the health debate that it was time to intensify the war against tobacco. "We must break the link between tobacco and alcohol," he said.
Barry Walsh, of Dublin Bay North Fine Gael, said shops selling electronic cigarettes had sprung up everywhere. He said these products could be sold to people of any age and there was no control over their contents: "There are some less than reputable products on the market."
Former minister Lucinda Creighton made a cautionary warning to her ex-party colleagues that 20 of them would lose their seats if there was an election tomorrow.
Ms Creighton also warned that the Labour Party could lose three out of four of its seats.
"The Irish people are not stupid, the reason they no longer support either government party to the same extent they did in 2011 is not because our economy has yet to recover, or because they are feeling the pinch of austerity, it's because the preponderance of the Irish electorate voted in 2011 based on the policies and values that both these political parties promised, yet diluted once in office," she said.
Speaking at 'The Irish Times' debate final in Dublin, she also criticised the rigidity of the party whip system.
VOTE TO LEGALISE DRUG
Party members will today vote on controversial proposals to legalise cannabis.
A motion put forward by Young Fine Gael's Trinity College Dublin branch will see members voting on a possible change to the law that would allow the personal consumption, sale and production of cannabis.
Health Minister James Reilly is vehemently opposed to the idea and has regularly highlighted the serious implications the drug has on mental health.