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Ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport possible once alternative financing is found -- Varadkar

The minister for health wants legislation changed, but admits a ‘time gap’ is needed.

Kilkenny Hurler Noel Hickey and Donegal Footballer Brendan Devenney promoting Guinness this summer.
Kilkenny Hurler Noel Hickey and Donegal Footballer Brendan Devenney promoting Guinness this summer.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

NEW LEGISLATION WHICH would curtail alcohol sponsorship of sports could be tabled next month, according to a report in the Irish Times today.

The clause in the legislation would also install a minimum price on alcohol units to stop retailers selling below cost, restricting advertising and the addition of calorie information and health warnings to labels.

However, the restrictions on sponsorship of sporting events would be far from immediate. Minister for health Leo Varadkar insists that the change to legislation could only be enforced once alternative sources of incomes were found and is also subject to agreement with Paschal Donohoe (minister for transport, tourism and sport).

“It is still my view,” Varadkar tells the Irish Times, “that if we are going to take drinks companies sponsorship away from sporting organisations, we are going to need, first of all to have a time gap, or lead-in time for that.

“But secondly we need to identify where the alternative source of finance would come from because sport contributes to health and contributes to the economy.”

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Sean Farrell

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