Government urged to 'lead by example' and close Dáil bars
The Government has been urged to close the two Dáil bars in Leinster House to lead by example in a bid to tackle harmful drinking.
Independent TD Michael Collins has said the effort to curb Ireland's harmful drinking practises should "start at home".
"If the Government is serious about tackling alcohol, it should start at home, which, for members, is the Oireachtas. It should bring forward legislation to close the Dáil bars," he said.
"People who get up at 7.00am or 8.00am and work hard all day do not have any alcohol to drink or the opportunity to drink it and are now afraid to call in for a pint on the way home because the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 finished that practice.
"If the Government wishes to continue attacking the drink industry, it should start by closing the Dáil bars. That would be an honest way to start tackling drink issues. It should lead by example.
Deputy Mattie McGrath disputed the idea however.
"I do not agree with my colleague about the Dáil bar. I like to bring visitors and others to the bar in the evenings, and the Dáil bar also provides jobs," he said.
The Dáil was debating the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which is looking at various ways to tackle problem drinking in Ireland including minimum unit pricing and health warnings on labels.