Alcohol Action remain confident of the primacy of Public Health measures

Alcohol Action Ireland note the close of the EU Commission’s TRIS notification procedure [23.59, Friday 20th April] on Ireland’s amended Public Health alcohol legislation. While the ‘Comments’ received from Member States such as Denmark, France, Greece, Romania Slovakia and United Kingdom will be of interest, we note that the Commission has opted, at this point, to make comment only on the proposed amendments to the Bill, as passed by Seanad Éireann last December.

While these Comments and the Detailed Opinion from Member States’ Portugal and Italy may add some further delay to the Oireachtas’ enactment of the Bill, we remain confident that the primacy of a Member State to enact necessary Public Health measures, as affirmed by the recent UK Supreme court decision to allow Minimum Unit Price in Scotland, will be recognised by DG Sante in its FIC deliberations, and ultimately by the Commission.

Ireland’s endeavour to enact the Public Health Alcohol Bill is being undertaken on the evidence of a growing public health crisis where underlying consumption data continue to demonstrate an upward trend, 900 people annually are diagnosed with alcohol related cancers and three deaths a day are attributable to alcohol.