No more stalling on Public Health Alcohol Bill – Louise O’Reilly TD
Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said that the Government needs to stop stalling on the Public Health Alcohol Bill and bring it swiftly before the Oireachtas.
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“While the vast majority of people in Ireland have a healthy relationship with alcohol, there are a number of vulnerable people and groups in the state who have a complex and sometimes harmful relationship with alcohol. These vulnerable groups include children, teenagers, and those who have vulnerable drinking habits.
“It is for this group of people that the Public Health Alcohol Bill seeks to legislate to offer protection to.
“Its overall aim is not to punish people but rather to reduce the damage that alcohol causes to individuals, families, and society by trying to reduce problem alcohol consumption, with a particular focus on protecting children and young people from alcohol harm.
“As many in Irish society know, vulnerable drinking has a particularly damaging effect socially and economically. Difficulties around excessive alcohol consumption can cause complex social problems in our villages, towns, and cities around addiction and anti-social behaviour. It can also have a huge economic impact on the strain it puts on our health service and the Gardaí when alcohol is abused.
“The Public Health Alcohol Bill is not a punitive measure to target those who engage with alcohol in a healthy manner, rather it is to protect those who are vulnerable or have a difficult relationship with alcohol and who cannot protect themselves, such as children and young people. Sinn Féin supports the Public Health Alcohol Bill and has stated so in our party health policy, Better4Health.
“Therefore, it is imperative that the Minister for Health and the new Taoiseach ensure that there is no more stalling on the Public Health Alcohol Bill and that it is brought before the Oireachtas as soon as possible.”