Ministers to discuss drink sponsorship

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The Cabinet is to set up a working group to consider banning the sponsorship of sporting and other events by alcohol companies.

From The Irish Times

The issue will be discussed by a Cabinet subcommittee today as one of a number of measures to deal with alcohol abuse. The working group will be overseen by theDepartment of the Taoiseach.

There are differing views among Ministers on the issue, and those favouring banning alcohol sponsorship have been told they must come up with alternative sources of funding.

Minister of State for Health  Alex White  has presented proposals to Government to ban all alcohol sponsorship in sports by 2020.

However, Minister for Sport  Leo Varadkar  and Minister for Arts and Culture  Jimmy Deenihan  have not agreed a date for implementation, arguing that the ban should not go ahead until alternative funding is identified to compensate organisations for the loss of revenue.

Sports event sponsorship by alcohol companies is estimated to be worth €20 million annually.

Measures to be considered by the subcommittee today include the imposition of a minimum price on alcohol and a 9pm watershed before which television advertisements would be banned.