Alcohol Bill latest: ‘If you were serious about tackling the drink, start with the Dáil bars’

Update 10.28pm: The debate on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has heard a call for the closures of the bars in Leinster House.

The legislation includes minimum unit pricing, a ban on sports sponsorship and restrictions on off-license sales.

Michael Collins from the Rural Independent group said he agreed with the aim of the bill but said the measures go too far.

He believes politicians should instead be setting an example.

“We talk about road traffic and we talk about the Alcohol Bill, and we’ve two bars inside here,” he said.

“What kind of a message is that sending to the people of this country?

“What are we doing? We’re supposed to be in here doing our work. We don’t need Dáil bars. If you were serious about tackling the drink, start at home.”

Original story (9.41pm): Concerns raised over labelling regulations in Alcohol Bill

Concerns have been raised that new labelling regulations in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill may end up in conflict with EU rules.

The Dáil's continuing its debate on the legislation, which makes it mandatory to include health warnings on the labels of alcoholic drinks.

Labour's Alan Kelly says he agrees with the idea of health warnings.

However, he's warned that the EU is also considering such measures, and Irish law may end up out of sync with Europe.

“I'm not sure if this will actually cut the mustard when it comes to European law.

“I know we have a process to go through, we have a pre-warning for six months and I just want to make sure that, one way or the other, labelling will be in place, and if not through this, at a European level.

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