Alcohol ban ‘won’t damage World Cup bid’

Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 would not be damaged if a proposed ban on drinks companies sponsoring sports event was imposed.

That’s the view of high-profile spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, who was in Ireland to lend his support for the campaign to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and other measures to deter alcohol abuse.

Mr Campbell, who rose to fame as media advisor to British prime minister Tony Blair, told a newly formed all-party Oireachtas Group on Alcohol Misuse that legislators needed to “do the right thing”.

“You get the argument that Ireland is not going to get the Rugby World Cup if this anti-alcohol thing goes on,” he said. “But golf has not died, snooker has not died, darts have not died. They have got better because their image has been improved by shedding their relationship with tobacco.”

Mr Campbell said the alcohol industry was effectively controlling health policy.

The new Oireachtas grouping wants politicians from all parties to push for the passing of the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which contains ambitious proposals for restricting the availability and advertising of alcohol.

Its chairman, Labour TD Ged Nash, said: “It costs the health services around €1.2 billion every year — that equates to the entire budget for HSE West.”

The human costs were outlined by representatives of frontline services, including emergency department nurse Anne Burke, who described the mayhem, aggression and agitation drunken patients brought to hospitals, as well as the dread of having to console distraught parents learning that their son or daughter has had a serious drink-related accident.

The new grouping is backed by Alcohol Action Ireland which is to act as its secretariat.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Victim of boiled water attack sues hostel

Family of drowned man hail Zack, 13, a hero for trying to save him

Andrew Crawford, ex-adviser to Arlene Foster, quits role at Stormont

Kerry mountain volunteers risked lives to retrieve body


Breaking Stories

Drama in mid-air after crew member (said to be captain) falls ill; flight diverts to Shannon

€37.5 MILLION worth of cannabis seized

No newsflash 'for now' from Gerry Adams on future as SF leader

Brendan Smyth's sex crimes 'ignored to protect good name of Church'

Lifestyle

Go from fatigued to fit with this quick workout

A look back at the inauspicious inaugurations in US history

Ian McKellen it's all about pleasing your parents

Time to indulge in a soak

More From The Irish Examiner