Friday 21 October 2016

'Cinderella levy' proposed on alcoholic drinks sold after midnight

John Downing Political Correspondent

Published 22/04/2015 | 12:31

Dara Calleary, Fianna Fail deputy for Mayo
Dara Calleary, Fianna Fail deputy for Mayo

FIANNA Fail members will be asked to back a 5pc “Cinderella levy” on alcoholic drinks sold after midnight.

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The proposal is among a host of items to be put before the 3,000 Fianna Fail Ard Fheis delegates at the RDS in Dublin this weekend.

Party leader Micheal Martin will hope the national conference can boost morale as Fianna Fail still struggles to break a 20pc ranking in opinion polls – and are stuck close to the catastrophic 2011 general election performance.

While plenty of social events are scheduled around the two-day conference, the party is also set to debate some very serious business.

In one motion the delegates will asked to reiterate party policy that they oppose removing the 1983 constitutional amendment banning abortion.

Fianna Fail national secretary, Dara Calleary, said the abortion motion – backed by the district committee from Naas – was fully in line with party policy on the issue.

Also during the party’s health session, delegates will be asked to back a 5pc levy on alcoholic drinks sold after midnight.

Mr Calleary said he expected the members to take this as seriously as any other issue.

“We have serious problems with alcohol in Ireland and we’re looking at ways to deal with it,” the Mayo TD said. He added that tackling alcohol abuse was part of their health policy.

The move is jointly proposed by the Michael O’Hanrahan party branch from New Ross and executive from the new constituency of Dublin Bay North.

Party organisers boast that it will be the largest single gathering of members in the country.

The delegates will also be asked to approve a new method of selecting a party leader which will give a major say to rank and file members. Approval would end the current system whereby parliamentary members select the party head.

The proposal is for a weighted voting system with the decision being divided between elected members and the general membership.

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