Sunday 21 January 2018

Alcohol Bill is watered down

A new memo by Department of Health officials on the changes says the decision to allow alcohol to be displayed will be limited, but will still permit a substantial amount to be on view. Stock image
A new memo by Department of Health officials on the changes says the decision to allow alcohol to be displayed will be limited, but will still permit a substantial amount to be on view. Stock image
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Small shops will be able to display a "substantial amount of alcohol" to customers after a Government climbdown.

The watering down of the Public Health Alcohol Bill will mean the proposed "booze curtain", hiding alcohol from view, will no longer be mandatory in smaller shops.

Health Minister Simon Harris was strongly lobbied by the alcohol industry to dilute the bill, which returns to the Seanad after more than a year next week.

A new memo by Department of Health officials on the changes says the decision to allow alcohol to be displayed will be limited, but will still permit a substantial amount to be on view.

The memo admits that exposing children to alcohol advertising increases the risk of them drinking.

The changes have dismayed public health doctors.

Writing in the 'Lancet', Prof Frank Murray said that drinks industry lobbying has led to the delay of the passage of this priority legislation.

Irish Independent

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