THE way has been cleared for the tobacco industry to make its case to TDs and senators against plans for the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.
Advisers to the Joint Committee on Health and Children have found there is no legal impediment to industry representatives giving evidence at hearings on the proposed legislation.
These are scheduled for the new year and will be crucial to the progress of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill.
Anti-smoking groups had complained that allowing the tobacco lobby to give evidence would violate an international treaty which restricts governments from interacting with the industry on health issues.
But legal advisers said the treaty did not preclude the industry from making oral representations to the committee.
Committee chairman Jerry Buttimer said the hearings' witness list had yet to be finalised.