Given its longstanding and vocal position on the need to separate alcohol from other products and for a strong statutory code on the sale and display of alcohol in mixed premises, NOffLA was recently invited to appear before this Justice Committee.
NOffLA Chairperson Evelyn Jones, NOffLA Member Kevin O’Brien and NOffLA’s legal advisor Martin Moran attended. The Association’s presentation and argument revolved around the following issues:
* The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill needs to be introduced as a matter or urgency
* Existing laws on the statute book such as the mandatory fines for underage drinking or proxy-purchasing by adults for children need to be applied stringently
* Section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act (2008) banning the discounted promotion of alcohol needs to be enacted should the introduction of a statutory Code of Practice be delayed any further
* Section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act (2008) providing for the separation of alcohol products from all other grocery products in mixed trading premises needs to enacted immediately
* All retailers of alcohol should receive mandatory training to be designed by Government so as to ensure alcohol is retailed at the same level of responsibility that NOffLA members practice under the RTC training programme
* Community Garda need to be protected from being pulled onto other Gardai duties given their significant contribution to safeguarding both the retailers and their vicinity.
The Oireachtas proceedings were attended by representatives of all political parties and NOffLA’s arguments will be directly issued to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald TD by the Justice Committee.
Building on this momentum, NOffLA will be continuing its engagement in this regard so as to ensure its members are no longer forced to compete amongst retailers who practice dangerous and irresponsible operations which ultimately carry serious consequences for both the public and our industry, stated the Association.