John O’Sullivan from Kerry reported at this year’s VFI conference that 10 per cent of families put this rule down as a reason that they went abroad on holiday.
Further, when incoming tourists were asked about this watershed time for persons under 18 in pubs, 11 per cent reported that it had had a negative effect.
This had been on the back-burner for a number of years, he said; what Kerry vintners now wanted was to bring it onto the front-burner – and he felt sure that it was not a very contentious issue.
In seconding this conference motion Kildare’s Michael Lamb pointed out that former Justice Minister Michael McDowell had introduced the legislation to take children out of the drinking environment — but another Minister in the very same government had abolished the Groceries Order which allowed supermarkets to sell below-cost.
“So the drinking environment has shifted into the home,” he said, “The same government are sending children out of the pub and back into the home despite it being admitted that the pub is a better-controlled drinking environment than the home, so to continue with this watershed law is ridiculous.”
The motion was carried.