Friday 22 June 2018

Remember the proposed 'booze curtains'? Smaller shops have won the battle against them

The proposed 'booze curtains'
The proposed 'booze curtains'
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Smaller shops have won their battle to get rid of the proposed 'booze curtain' which would have hidden alcohol from customers' view.

In a move that is set to incense public health campaigners, the shops will continue to be allowed to display alcohol - although it must be confined to around two shelves.

The climb-down is understood to be among a series of amendments in the controversial Public (Health) Alcohol Bill, the Irish Independent has learned.

The legislation, which is to return to the Seanad next week after being on hold for a year, has been subjected to intense lobbying by the drinks industry, retailers and pressure from backbenchers.

An illustration of the suggested 'booze curtains'
An illustration of the suggested 'booze curtains'

They demanded changes to the planned alcohol restrictions in smaller shops, which they claimed were financially onerous and impractical. It led to the Bill being withdrawn from the Seanad last year and going back to the drawing board in a bid to placate its opponents.

Meanwhile, the Government is under pressure to impose excise duty on alcohol in Tuesday's Budget after failing to introduce any levy in 2016 or 2017.

Irish Independent

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