Junior health minister Alex White has said he favours a “sunset date” for an end to alcohol sponsorship of major sports

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The minister’s strategy to tackle the misuse of alcohol is scheduled to be discussed by Cabinet members this week.

From the Irish Examiner

However, there were suggestions at the weekend that moves to ban drink companies from sponsoring sports events could derail Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup.

Mr White told Newstalk that there was a need to break the link between alcohol and sport.

Draft proposals of the alcohol strategy propose banning alcohol sponsorship of major sporting events by 2020 and outlawing new contracts from 2016 onwards.

It was reported that Sports Minister Leo Varadkar wants to delay the ban date until at least 2024 to avoid any interference with Ireland’s bid to host the Ruby World Cup in 2023.

The event could generate up to €1bn in tourist revenue and the Fine Gael minister wants a longer lead-in time for the ban, with his department taking control of such a move.

But Mr White said he was not aware of any concerns that the alcohol sponsorship ban could affect a bid to host the Rugby World Cup.

The Labour minister said yesterday that a “sunset date” ”” an exact timeline for the ban ”” was needed to break the link between alcohol and sport.

The strategy will also address the issue of minimum pricing for alcohol, to stop the sale of cheap drink in supermarkets, as well as the matter of where drink is sold in shops.

At the weekend, a number of Fine Gael TDs expressed opposition to any ban on alcohol sponsorship for major sports events.

Rugby chiefs also said last week that such sponsorship generated €9m annually for the sport.

A Cabinet subcommittee is to discuss Mr White’s alcohol strategy this week but it is expected that the final plans will not go before the full Cabinet until later this month.