Alcohol Forum Ireland (AFI), Irish Community Action on Alcohol Network (ICAAN) & Assistant Professor, Dr Ollie Bartlett, Maynooth University launched new report on the Proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill claiming it could pose ‘enormous’ risks to Children’s Rights in Ireland.
Assistant Professor, Dr Ollie Bartett has analysed Ireland’s Sale of Alcohol Bill in a report which was launched on October 20th, 2023, in Maynooth University.
This government’s pursuit of a ‘night-time economy’ that increases access to alcohol will be retrogressive for the rights and well-being of children in Ireland according to a new report from the Irish Community Action on Alcohol Network (ICAAN) and Alcohol Forum Ireland (AFI).
Author of the report, Ass. Professor Dr Ollie Bartlett from the School of Law and Criminology at Maynooth University has said that the effects of the measures proposed in Ireland’s Sale of Alcohol Bill, including the extension of trading hours, the concentration of drinking outlets, lack of regulation of drink deliveries and the removal of limits on the number of on-licenses will have a negative impact on lives of children in Ireland, particularly those living in homes where parental alcohol use is a significant issue.
“In analysing the Government’s Sale of Alcohol Bill from a children’s rights perspective, it is of great concern that, as a package, it is likely to pose significant risks to the rights of children in Ireland, particularly the most vulnerable children’ Dr Bartlett said. “When alcohol consumption becomes the core focus of developing our night time economy, as reflected in the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill, the economic benefits can come at an enormous cost’.
This second expert report from AFI and ICAAN follows the publication of a cost and benefit analysis report by global expert, Professor Tom Babor in May of this year that concluded that the major changes proposed in the Sale of Alcohol Bill are likely to facilitate epidemics of binge drinking that have major implications for public health and social well-being.
The report recommends that Government revise the duty for licensees to remove children from their bars and revise the duties surrounding the distance selling of alcohol (dial a drink services). To afford greater protection in the legislation to adolescents, the report recommends that Government revise the rules on the definition of children to include persons aged 15-18.
While the Public Health Act of 2018 introduced restrictions around alcohol advertising close to schools and early years settings, this legislation does not address the inappropriateness of alcohol being sold close to places where children go to school. Therefore, Dr Bartlett’s report recommends that government revise the conditions upon which licenses can be granted so that the license is not within 200m of a playground, school, or early years establishment.
‘This is a large and significant piece of legislation and this new report which lays bare the risks it poses to the rights of children must be given attention by Minister McEntee. Families, parents and the public should not pay the price so that the alcohol industry can increase its profits’ said Paula Leonard ahead of tomorrow’s launch.