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October 25, 2014

New alcohol bill set to be brought forward

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By Dara Gantly.

The chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health has welcomed the commitment by the Minister of State with responsibility for primary care Róisín Shortall to bring forward a public health bill to address the problem of the misuse and consumption of alcohol by mid-year.

Minister Shortall and Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, attended the Committee meeting last week (March 15) to discuss the findings of the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy report and provide members with an overview of some of the evidence presented by the Steering Group on the adverse implications of alcohol on society.

Committee Chairman Jerry Buttimer TD said: “As a society, we have debated our misuse and consumption of alcohol for many years. But there comes a point when there’s a need to move from debate to political action. On this issue, that time is now. No longer can those charged with devising and implementing public policy abdicate responsibility on this important matter of public health.

“It’s a responsibility to tackle this pressing public health issue, which has driven all members of the Committee in presenting a detailed set of options that will assist in tackling alcohol misuse,” added Deputy Buttimer.

dara.gantly@imt.ie