Minister expects backlash to 'booze curtains' plan - but says it 'must happen'
New alcohol laws including the introduction of so-called 'booze curtains' will cause "consternation" but must happen, the Public Health Minister has said.
Marcella Corcoran Kennedy expects a backlash to her plans, including from the Independent Alliance, but is prepared to go to war on the issue.
"You'd expect that because we're talking about alcohol. I think it's probably because we have a culturally unusual relationship with alcohol," she told the Irish Independent.
Proposals to force shops to restrict the visibility of alcohol have already met huge opposition from the drinks industry, shopkeepers, Fine Gael backbenchers and members of Government.
Independent Alliance TDs Sean Canney and Kevin 'Boxer' Moran have said they will oppose the move, describing it as "short-sighted".
However, Ms Corcoran Kennedy is set to dig her heels in.
"People signed up to this. It's in the programme for Government. It's quite clearly in there that we are to enact the Public Health Alcohol Bill," she said.
"It was commenced in the Seanad last December which is over a year ago now. In that period of time another 1,056 have died as a result of alcohol misuse in Ireland.
"People are dying as a result of it."
She also warned the opposition to the segregation clause will be nothing compared to the sections on minimum pricing and advertising.
Ms Corcoran Kennedy said she expects the plan to end up before the courts as happened in Scotland after Nicola Sturgeon attempted to bring in minimum unit pricing.