Sunbed operators who break new laws could be 'named and shamed'

Sunbed operators could be named and shamed if they break new laws on their use.

The first step in banning under-18s from using or renting sun beds is underway in the Dáil this morning.

Other measures in the bill include the banning of coin-operated machines and ensuring that all operators are registered and provide eye protection to clients.

Health Minister James Reilly says if they break these, they will face heavy penalties.

"In the case of a first offence, the fine will be up to €4,000, or a Class B fine, or imprisonment for up to six months, or both," he said.

"And for a second or subsequent offence, a fine of up to 5,000 - a Class A fine - or imprisonment for up to 12 months or both.

"The HSE may also publish a sunbed non-compliance list, which will in effect name and shame offenders," he added.

Fianna Fail say they are supporting the new legislation.

Health pokesperson Billy Kelleher said he hopes they can get it through quickly.

"We will see, unfortunately Minister, because this legislation won't be passed in time - or maybe it could be - the communion brigade this year again where we will have young children paraded into tanning offices...throughout this country to perk up their tan at eight years of age for what is effectively still a religious ceremony in our schools," he said.

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