EU approval sought for commencement of Section 23 of Public Health Alcohol Act

Alcohol Action Ireland welcomes the move by the Minister for Health’s step to seek the approval of the EU Commission to regulate alcohol promotions.


This is a small, but significant step in reinforcing the principle that alcohol is not an ordinary commodity.

These measures, when approved, and commenced (1st September 2020), will have an impact on off-trade sales ensuring that promotions of alcohol will be restricted, such as: two for one type offers, while more widely ensuring that the frequent, free distribution of alcohol will be ‘denormalised’ in other commercial transactions.


The Public Health Alcohol Act was passed in October 2018 – to date 23 provisions have be commenced but none are yet operational. Three measures will become operational in November 2019, two more in November 2020, and further two in 2021. However, crucial ‘best-buys’ of policy such as ‘Minimum Price of alcohol products’ the ‘Content of Advertisement’ and the ‘Broadcast watershed’ have not been commenced.  


Alcohol Action Ireland would urge the Minister to clarify when these significant measures will be commenced and to ensure a coherent implementation of all aspects of the Public Health Alcohol Act.