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Monday 11 December 2017

Gilmore backs plan to ban drink sponsors

Michael Brennan and Fiach Kelly

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has set himself on a collision course with Fine Gael ministers by backing the banning of alcohol sponsorship of large sporting events such as the Heineken Cup.

He has thrown his support behind Labour junior minister Alex White, who has sent a memo to cabinet ministers proposing that a ban be brought in by 2020, with no new alcohol sponsorship of large sporting events from 2016 onwards. However, local sports clubs and events could still be sponsored by drinks companies.

A government spokesman confirmed that Mr Gilmore was supporting the banning of alcohol sponsorship for large sporting events by 2020. But Fine Gael Minister Leo Varadkar is opposed to such a ban because it would be hard for sporting organisations such as the FAI and the IRFU to find alternative sponsors.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan are also believed to have concerns.

However, Fine Gael Health Minister Dr James Reilly is backing the proposed ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport.

Ministers have until tomorrow to give their observations on Mr White's memo and it is due to be discussed at the cabinet sub-committee on social policy next Monday.

Irish Independent

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