Exclusive: Government expects plain tobacco legislation to be approved this evening
President Michael D Higgins is this evening expected to sign into law the legislation introducing plain packaging for tobacco products.
Government sources have told Independent.ie that the landmark legislation will be enacted without the need to consult the Council of State.
The news is a major boost for Children's Minister James Reilly, who has spear headed the plain packaging bill.
Dr Reilly hopes that plain packs for cigarettes will be in the shops in 2017.
However, the bill is now expected to be challenged in the courts by major tobacco giants who say it infringes on their intellectual property rights.
A spokesman for the President refused to comment but said a statement will be issues this evening.