Today I protested the granting of a licence to a Cork publican who has proposed to introduce a loyalty card scheme for alcohol consumption – despite Garda objections to the issuing of the licence.
A loyalty card which will reward the consumption of alcohol with yet more alcohol will inevitably encourage some to drink excessively, with the possibility of public order and other issues following.
Section 16 of the 2008 Intoxicating Liquor Act permits the making of regulations in the interest of public health and safety; however, no regulations have been made to date. This is totally unacceptable in my view.
Alcohol consumption in Ireland has trebled since 1960. Meanwhile liver disease caused by alcohol consumption has trebled since the 1990’s .
These figures are truly alarming and as such we must do all we can to prevent excessive drinking – not encourage it!
Section 16 is due to be repealed and replaced in the Public Health Alcohol Bill – as such, I am calling on the Minister to ensure that this section is enforced by introducing regulations which will prevent such initiatives as the Pub Loyalty Card scheme.