In Ireland, the Cabinet has agreed on the legislation that will come before the Oireachtas this autumn. The priority legislation identified by the Cabinet included the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which contains a range of measures – minimum unit pricing, health labelling, regulation of alcohol marketing and promotion and structural separation, designed to work together to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland and associated alcohol related harms. While the Government has had problems progressing the Alcohol Bill, it is expected that it could come before the Dáil and Seanad in the coming weeks.
A campaign to remove the requirement for “booze curtains” from the alcohol bill has been launched by representatives of the country’s convenience stores. The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association of Ireland (CSNA), which represents over 1,200 shopkeepers, has instructed its members to give customers a “visual representation” of how proposal will affect their shopping. Shops can use words like wine and beer to designate where drink is stored, but they cannot allow products and advertisements for alcoholic products to be “readily visible to members of the public from outside the area”.
The CNSA has urged members and customers to contact members of parliament and has also hired consultants to lobby politicians. Vincent Jennings, chief of the CSNA, said the bill was unfair to retailers. The CSNA claims the government has not done a cost assessment, which, depending on the size of the shop, it could range from €5,000 to €40,000.