'Groundbreaking' alcohol legislation passes the Dáil

'Groundbreaking' alcohol legislation passes the Dáil

The Public Health Alcohol Bill has passed all stages in the Dáil this evening.

The legislation has taken nearly three years to get through the house.

It includes restrictions on advertising and sale of alcohol, and has faced stiff opposition from the drinks industry.

The Bill introduces minimum unity pricing, segregation of alcohol from other products in retail outlets, advertising restrictions as well as a broadcasting watershed.

The Health Minister Simon Harris says tonight's outcome is significant for the country's health.

"This is the first time in the history of our State, we have endeavoured to use public health legislation to address issues in relation to alcohol," said Minister Harris.

"It is, therefore, a groundbreaking measure.

"For the first time in our history, we are legislating for alcohol as it affects our health and it is right and proper that we do that."

Alcohol Action welcomed the passing of the Bill and thanked the Minister for Health and the Taoiseach for their work.

"For nearly ten years, a great many champions of public health from across a wide spectrum of professional bodies, health charities and children’s groups have advocated for this legislation to be advanced," a statement from the group said.

"This evening’s conclusion is their victory too.

"Soon, Ireland will commence the implementation of the Bill; the measures as designed, when implemented coherently and cohesively, and in a timely manner, will make a significant difference, over time, to reducing Ireland’s excessive alcohol consumption, altering our drinking culture and ultimately protect our children."

Digital Desk

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