Campaigners accuse drinks industry of 'ferocious lobbying'

A coalition of campaigners has accused the drinks industry of a campaign of "ferocious lobbying" in an effort to influence measures in the Public Health Alcohol Bill.

The group includes public health experts as well as the Union of Students in Ireland, and the Rape Crisis Network.

Retailers are opposed to a measure that means alcohol must be displayed in a separate space from other products.

The Bill goes to committee stage in the Seanad this week.

Campaigner Jillian Van Turnhout is warning that lobby groups are pressurising TDs and Senators on a number of issues.

"In the areas of sponsorship, in the areas of labelling, and the issue of structural separation," she explained.

"Basically, structural separation is about ensuring that you make a very deliberate decision when you're buying alcohol, so you shouldn't be able to pick up the alcohol when you're buying nappies or buying chocolate - you see the alcohol there and you just grab it at the last moment."

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