After three years in the making, the Public Health Alcohol Bill passed through the Oireachtas late yesterday evening. This now means that the Bill will now go to President Michael D Higgins for signing and enactment into law.
It will lead to stricter rules on how alcohol is sold in Ireland and is the first piece of legislation which addresses alcohol as a public health matter.
"The measures in this Bill will make a real difference to changing the culture of drinking in Ireland over a period of time."
It passed all stages in the Dáil last week.
This means that alcohol products will now include health warnings including the link between alcohol and cancer, nutritional information, and the dangers of drinking while pregnant. The separation and visibility of alcohol products in stores will also be taken into account and acted on.
We are delighted that, after many years of hard campaigning, Public Health Alcohol Bill has completed all stages in the Oireachtas this evening. It will now be forwarded to the President for signing and enactment. Thank you everyone for your invaluable support. #phabsaveslives
— AlcoholActionIreland (@AlcoholIreland) October 10, 2018
As well as this, there will be restrictions on advertising alcohol in certain places as well as restrictions on how alcohol companies sponsor sporting events. New rules will also be laid out for advertisers and the times and content of television advertisements containing alcohol will also be restricted.
Minister for Health Simon Harris has said he intends to implement the provisions of the legislation as quickly as possible to change Ireland's relationship and culture with alcohol and to “address the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and to improve the health and wellbeing of all of us.”
Final word to Health Minister @SimonHarrisTD in the #Seanad after Senator @frances_black described the Public Health Alcohol Bill as "a vital piece of life saving legislation" pic.twitter.com/r6tWrdFlnV
— Ailbhe Conneely (@AilbheConneely) October 10, 2018
“Ireland has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol that damages health and harms many families,” he continued, adding that the Bill aims “to address that and save thousands of lives.”