Full implementation of the Alcohol Act edges ever closer

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, today (Wednesday 24th November) welcomes commencement of some further sections the Public Health Alcohol Act, 2018.

We acknowledge the commitment of the government to complete the full implementation of the 2018 legislative framework and  these provisions are further progress toward bringing all sections of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act into operation.

Section 4 is a significant measure, insomuch as it provides the HSE a meaningful opportunity to reflect on the public health impact of granting further alcohol licensing in communities where alcohol availability is ubiquitous, and voice their concern to the granting, or renewal, of such licences.

It is important that the forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill would not weaken such public health oversight but seek to strengthen it.

Two major pillars of the Act remain to be commenced by the Minister for Health, including significant provisions on the Content of Advertising (Section 13) and broadcast watershed, and the provision of health warnings on all alcohol product labels (Section 12).

Commenting on this welcome announcement, Eunan McKinney, AAI’s Head of Communications, said:

While these measures may be small against the scale of our national task to reduce alcohol harm, they do nevertheless demonstrate an admirable intent by Minister Donnelly to sustain a momentum towards full implementation. It is only through a full coherent and cohesive implementation can we hope for the full objectives of the policy framework to have its full impact.  

The Public Health Alcohol Act seeks to bring about a reduction in societal alcohol use by 20% over seven years and curb the enticement of young people into the ranks of frequent drinkers.