The journey of this progressive legislation has been long and at times difficult. It is said that ‘success has many fathers’ however, in finally passing this legislation, all the Deputies, from across the House, who have supported this Bill are to be greatly commended.
The personal commitment of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the tenacious leadership of the Minister of Health, Simon Harris, as its champion has been crucial; the protection of public health does not come that high on many electoral agendas and so their steadfast support must be roundly applauded.
Equally, there have many other political figures from the recent past who stayed the course and fought hard to advance the measures and they too deserve recognition for such a commitment to public health often to their own cost.
For nearly ten years, a great many champions of public health from across a wide spectrum of professional bodies, health charities and children’s groups have advocated for this legislation to be advanced. This evening’s conclusion is their victory too.
Soon, Ireland will commence the implementation of the Bill; the measures as designed, when implemented coherently and cohesively, and in a timely manner, will make a significant difference, over time, to reducing Ireland’s excessive alcohol consumption, altering our drinking culture and ultimately protect our children.