Sports sponsorship ban deferred but Coalition to increase alcohol prices

A BAN on sponsorship of sports events by drinks companies has been long-fingered as part of the Government’s clampdown on alcohol.


But the Coalition has agreed a series of measures, including price increases and restrictions on availability for sale of alcohol. All the details are still to be worked out, but government sources say there is agreement in principle for the tougher approach to tackling alcohol.

The regulations on advertising are being tightened and minimum prices on alcohol are expected to be introduced.

But the contentious issue of sponsorship of sports events has been deferred.

The question of ending sponsorship has been kicked into a study group, which will report in a year’s time. The ban is effectively deferred until alternative sources of funds have been identified for sporting and cultural organisations.

A cabinet sub-committee met yesterday to discuss the proposals. Junior Health Minister  Alex White  said substantial progress had been made by the Government and the conclusions would be published after the Budget.

Meanwhile, an anti-alcohol group has called on the Government to implement all the recommendations to reduce alcohol-related harm. Alcohol Action Ireland says more than 1,700 people have died from alcohol-related illnesses since plans to cut alcohol-related harm were first published.

The charity’s chief executive Suzanne Costello said the measures were the result of three years of work.

“These recommendations, taken together, provide a practical and achievable means to bring about a positive change in our country’s relationship with alcohol, but more than 1,700 Irish people have died from alcohol-related illnesses since that report was published in February 2012 and still we have seen no definitive action from Government,” she said.