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Cabinet close to agreement on alcohol strategy, but sponsorship ban will be deferred

Proposals to tackle alcohol misuse are close to being agreed by the government.

AN AGREEMENT ON the government’s strategy for tackling alcohol misuse is likely to be reached in the next two weeks with a “a lot of progress” made yesterday, a Minister has said.

Primary care minister Alex White told the media yesterday that the Cabinet is “close to reaching agreement” on the government’s strategy for alcohol with a final memo for Cabinet due within the next two weeks.

Proposals are likely to include a ban on alcohol ads before the 9pm watershed and minimum pricing.

But the proposal to ban alcohol companies’ sponsorship of sports teams and events is to be delayed until alternative sources of funding can be found.

Several ministers as well as sporting organisations have in recent months expressed concern about the impact on sports funding in Ireland if an alcohol sponsorship ban was imposed.

The Department of Helath originally proposed phasing out alcohol sponsorship of sporting and cultural events by 2016 but any ban is likely to exclude cultural events and be delayed until 2020 at the earliest.

An Oireachtas committee said in July that that an immediate ban would have a negative and detrimental impact on the funding of Irish sport with no obvious source of alternative funding for sports organisations.

Read: Publicans want ‘lid levy’ to replace losses from alcohol sports sponsorship ban

Committee: Sponsorship of sport by alcohol companies ‘should remain in place’

Read: Banning alcohol sponsorship of sport is ‘based on opinion, not evidence’

Minister: Alcohol sponsorship of sport is ‘complicated’

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