It’s game over for ban on booze advertising in sport

From The Sun

THE Government has officially kicked to touch plans for a ban on alcohol advertising in sport, the Irish Sun can reveal.

Minister of State for Sport Michael Ring has ruled out the possibility of any legislation being introduced during the current economic difficulties.

Sports Minister Leo Varadkar had previously claimed that blocking booze backing would not  effect underage drinking.

It is estimated that sport sponsorship by the alcohol industry in Ireland amounts to €30MILLION per year.

And while Fine Gael man Ring said that while he would personally “love” to ban alcohol sponsorship, he admitted it is just not practical.

He told the Irish Sun: “I would love if we never had to use any alcohol company to sponsor sports in this country.

“But let’s call a spade a spade ”” we are in very serious economic times.

“It is not just sports, but festivals and events. If we take away the alcohol sponsorship, then we are going to have a serious problem in this country.

“At a time when we are cutting back 2.9 per cent of overall sports funding, and then at the same time cutting sponsorship, that would have a serious impact.”

The Minister ”” who this week announced a €33million investment package by the Irish Sports Council ”” admitted legislation is unlikely to be introduced during the lifetime of this Government.

He said: “It won’t happen in the short term. There may be decisions made at a latter stage, but the sporting organisations are lobbying and making their own case.”

Alcohol Action Ireland has said that children are the “unfortunate collateral damage” of sports sponsorship by the drink industry.